Six firms to operate 40,500 shared bicycles

Ofo was granted a maximum fleet size of 25,000 bicycles - "much lower" than what it first applied for. But it subsequently asked to operate 10,000 bikes instead, and LTA agreed.
Ofo was granted a maximum fleet size of 25,000 bicycles - "much lower" than what it first applied for. But it subsequently asked to operate 10,000 bikes instead, and LTA agreed.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

Combined fleet size is fewer than half the figure six months ago

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has received licensing fees from six firms, which will operate 40,500 shared bicycles in all - fewer than half the combined fleet size six months ago.

From Thursday, Mobike will operate 25,000 bicycles, while fellow Chinese firm ofo will operate 10,000. Singapore's SG Bikes will operate 3,000.

The three have each been granted a full licence, and have paid $30 to operate each bike for two years. On top of that, they have paid a security deposit of $30 per bike, but this does not have to be in cash.

Anywheel, Grab and Qiqi Zhixiang have each been granted a "sandbox licence", which limits them to much smaller fleets. Anywheel and Grab will have 1,000 bikes each, and Qiqi will have 500. All three pay a licensing fee of $12 per bike, without the need for any security bond.

None of the operators wanted to reveal its fleet size, but it is estimated that there were more than 100,000 shared bikes in Singapore before the licensing regime was announced early this year.

The Straits Times understands that the bigger players have since been paring down their fleets. Both Mobike and ofo said yesterday that they will meet their regulated fleet sizes from Thursday.

In an announcement yesterday, LTA said ofo was granted a maximum fleet size of 25,000 bicycles, which was "much lower" than what it had originally applied for. But the firm subsequently requested to operate a reduced maximum fleet size of 10,000 bicycles instead, and LTA has agreed to this request, the authority added.

  • FULL LICENCE HOLDERS

  • 25k

    Number of bicycles Mobike will operate from Thursday

    10k

    Number of bikes ofo will operate

    3k

    Number of bikes to be operated by Singapore's SG Bikes

  • SANDBOX LICENCE HOLDERS

  • 1k

    Number of bikes Anywheel and Grab are each allowed to operate

    500

    Number of bikes Qiqi Zhixiang is allowed to operate

"Under the new licensing regime, all licensees are required to reduce their fleet size to meet their assigned maximum fleet sizes by Nov 1," LTA said, adding that it will regularly review the fleet sizes, taking into account factors such as the operators' performance and user demand.

The next round of applications for operators to apply for new licences or bigger fleet sizes will open in January.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'Six firms to operate 40,500 shared bicycles'. Print Edition | Subscribe