No claims to be made on security deposit, licence fees paid by bike-sharing operators: Lam Pin Min

No claims to be made on security deposit, licence fees paid by bike-sharing operators: Lam Pin Min

QR code for bike sharing kicks in
Operator SGBikes said it will deploy staff to help users with scanning QR-codes upon returning their shared bicycles. (Photo: Elizabeth Neo)

SINGAPORE: Creditors of bike-sharing operators will not be allowed to make any claims on the security deposit and licence fees paid by those companies to Land Transport Authority (LTA), said Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min in Parliament on Monday (Feb 18). 

Dr Lam was responding to Nominated Member of Parliament Walter Theseira's question on the financial standing of bicycle sharing operators, and whether their security deposits and licence fees can be used to repay their debts.

This includes money owed to vendors, employees, companies and consumers by the operators.

When granting licences to bike-sharing operators, LTA requires them to submit audited financial statements for review and considers their financial standing when granting licences.

In addition, operators have to pay a S$30 annual licence fee and S$30 refundable security deposit per bike. 

READ: LTA awards licences to six bike-sharing operators; ofo to downsize fleet to 10,000

"The licensing framework for bicycle-sharing operators focuses on regulating the indiscriminate parking of shared dockless bicycles," Dr Lam said. 

As such, the licence fees that LTA collects from the operators are meant to cover regulatory costs so that these costs are not passed on to taxpayers, said Dr Lam. 

Likewise, the security deposit paid by the operators is restricted to specific circumstances laid out in the Parking Places Act, Dr Lam added.

They serve as surety for an operator’s compliance with licence conditions or standards of performance, meet any unpaid financial penalties imposed on an operator, and recover the costs incurred by LTA in removing and disposing of bicycles should an operator fail to do so after its licence has been cancelled, Dr Lam said. 

"If none of these circumstances arise, LTA will not make a claim on the security deposit," Dr Lam said.

"Companies and consumers with claims against any operator can seek redress through the civil courts, while employees can also approach the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management for assistance to resolve their salary disputes," Dr Lam added.

Source: CNA/fs

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