SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has instructed bike-sharing firm oBike to work with its liquidator to remove its bicycles from public spaces by Jul 4, the authority announced on Thursday (Jun 28). LTA said the instruction was made so that public streets would not be cluttered with bicycles that cannot be hired.
"Should there be unremoved oBike bicycles after this date, LTA will progressively remove these bicycles from public spaces," it said.
"oBike or its liquidator will have to pay the relevant towing and storage fees in order to claim impounded bicycles from LTA. In addition, LTA and CASE have emphasised to oBike the importance of refunding users their deposits which were placed earlier with the company," it added.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) released the statement after it engaged oBike on its exit plans, amid concerns that its fleet of about 14,000 bicycles is currently left abandoned on streets, pavements and parks all over the country.
In a shock move, the bike-sharing operator announced on Monday that it had stopped operations in Singapore, citing difficulties in meeting the new requirements put in place by LTA to tackle indiscriminate parking.
CONSUMERS WILL BE UNABLE TO PURSUE LEGAL CLAIM AGAINST OBIKE: CASE
In a separate statement on Thursday, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) announced that as of 5pm, it had received 772 complaints from oBike customers asking for deposit refunds. The majority of the complaints were lodged over the last four days, CASE added.
CASE also said that as soon as oBike's liquidation commences, there will be a stay of proceedings on litigation action and customers will not be able to proceed with any claims against the company.
"Once the company is in liquidation, affected consumers should file their Proofs of Debt against oBike with the appointed liquidator. Consumers should also attach copies of any relevant receipts or other supporting documents to the Proof of Debt form," it added.
The watchdog added that, as a general principle, it encourages consumers to minimise their prepayments or deposits where possible, as their advance payment may be lost in the event of an abrupt business closure.
"Consumers who have reservations about paying a deposit may wish to consider other bike-sharing options that do not require a deposit payment or reduce their risk by choosing a per use option, where they pay a small amount of money each time they use the bike-sharing service," CASE said.