Government to engage those affected by 'unintended consequences' of bike sharing: Janil Puthucheary

Government to engage those affected by 'unintended consequences' of bike sharing: Janil Puthucheary

Obike Mobike Ofo bikes
Bikes from oBike, ofo and Mobike in Singapore. (Photo: Mubin Saadat)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government will engage people who have been inconvenienced by the “unintended consequences of bike sharing”, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary told reporters on Wednesday (Jul 4). 

Speaking at the unveiling of the first of 91 four-car trains for the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), Dr Puthucheary said that bike sharing was a key component of Singapore’s next transport masterplan.

In response to questions on bike-sharing operator oBike’s exit from the Singapore market, Dr Puthucheary said: “The (bike-sharing) space is still evolving and we will continue to engage with the operators as well as the consumers as well as people who are inconvenienced by some of the unintended consequences. We will study, we will engage and take action as needs be."

oBike announced last Monday that it was ceasing operations in Singapore. It owes its customers a total of S$6.3 million for their mandatory deposits. 

The operator added that it is working to clear its 70,000 bicycles on the streets by a Jul 4 deadline set by the Land Transport Authority.

The company cited difficulties with LTA’s requirements for its operating licence as the reason for its exit. 

Commenting on bike sharing’s future in Singapore, Dr Puthucheary said: “Certainly the type of business models and the type of operators that come in to run these type of business is going to be a very important part of how our next transport master plan will look like."

He also commented on how bike sharing would fit into Singapore’s next land transport master plan, which will be launched in 2019.  

“What’s very important is the last mile, at the integration between the different modes of transport ... So we take a user-centric approach. 

"How do you take a bike to the MRT station, how do you take a bus and then perhaps (use) ridesharing at the other end when you’re approaching the CBD. This is what we call inter-modal transport, linking up all the various parts. I think getting that right will be key to the next phase of our land transport masterplan," he added. 

Source: CNA/hm