oBike to introduce points system that penalises 'ungracious' users

oBike to introduce points system that penalises 'ungracious' users

Singapore's first stationless bike-sharing company's credit system aims to curb irresponsible practices such as illegal parking and bike hogging among its users.

SINGAPORE: Rewards if you are good, and penalties if you are not - Singapore’s first stationless bike-sharing company oBike is introducing a credit system in its app from the week of Apr 17 to encourage better behaviour among its users.

Announcing the oBike credits feature on Thursday (Apr 13), oBike said points will be added for "positive behaviour" such as reporting broken bikes, as well as to encourage frequent use of the app. However, points will be docked for "negative behaviour" such as parking at non-designated bike parking areas and forgetting to lock a bike. The lower the points, the higher the cost of the ride.

A yellow and black oBike bicycle parked in a non-designated bike parking area.

The cost of borrowing the bikes for each 15-minute period will range from S$0.50 for users with 101 to 180 points to a hundred times more, or S$50, for those with less than 60 points.

In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries, a spokesperson also explained that users start with 100 points, and once they have zero points, they will no longer be able to use the service. Some offences, such as violating traffic rules, will instantly reduce the user's points to zero.


(Source: oBike)

Besides the oBike credits, the company will also be adding bike parking location indicators in its app from Apr 20, so users know where to park their bikes. These areas include the new bicycle parking zones at seven new locations by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

These improvements were made following trials and feedback from users. The bright yellow-and-white bikes were first spotted in Singapore in January this year but were officially launched on Thursday.

ONE-YEAR PILOT WITH TAMPINES TOWN COUNCIL

oBike is also partnering with Tampines Town Council on a one-year pilot programme called “Ride and Roll”.

Tampines, the first cycling town in Singapore, was picked for its existing infrastructure that supports cycling, like extensive and dedicated paths for bikes, oBike said.

“As Singapore’s first cycling town, Tampines Town Council has already put in place various initiatives and infrastructural features that seek to promote cycling within the community, and we believe that this partnership will help to create a stronger cycling ecosystem within Tampines,” said oBike’s general manager Elgin Ee.

The programme will be rolled out in three phases from this month.

The first phase will seek to build a strong network and infrastructure within Tampines, with on-ground demarcations of bike-sharing spaces in high-traffic areas. Residents will also get one month of free rental service when they sign up.

Phase two aims to drive home the message of safe and responsible cycling, with educational programmes organised by oBike and the town council.

Finally, the last phase will be geared towards encouraging the sustainability of bike-sharing, and cycling data from the pilot will be used for the neighbourhood’s future plans. In this phase, oBike will also be adding more people to its maintenance team under its oBike Warden Programme which will provide job opportunities for Tampines residents, especially active senior citizens, it said in the press release.

Source: CNA/mz

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