LTA to take action against ofo for having too many bicycles

LTA to take action against ofo for having too many bicycles

SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Monday (Nov 5) that it intends to take regulatory actions against ofo for possessing a fleet of bicycles beyond the maximum allowed. 

The authority said it has served ofo notice of its intention.

ofo is one of six companies that were awarded licences to operate bicycle-sharing services in Singapore under a scheme that also imposed limits on their fleet sizes, requiring them to right-size their fleets by Nov 1.

The other operators are Mobike and SG Bike, as well as Anywheel, Grabcycle and Qiqi Zhixiang who were given sandbox licences as they had little to no experience operating shared bicycles in Singapore. 

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In its statement, LTA said ofo was "originally in principle granted" a maximum fleet size of 25,000 bicycles. However, this figure was reduced to 10,000 bicycles "at ofo's request".

"All licencees have complied with the requirement to right-size their fleets by 1 November 2018, except for ofo ... As of 1 November 2018, ofo still has a fleet size that is significantly above its maximum fleet size of 10,000 or even the fleet size of 25,000 that LTA was originally prepared to grant," said LTA. 

"LTA strongly reminds all licensees and potential applicants to fully comply with all licence conditions and standards of performance," it added. 

ofo Singapore's country manager, Ms Isabelle Neo, said in a statement on the same day that the Beijing-based firm "has been clear and transparent in our communications to the LTA that the additional right-sizing of our fleet to 10,000 bikes will require more time". 

READ: Bicycle-sharing operators right-sizing their fleets ahead of LTA deadline

"We are confident to be fully compliant in the coming days," said Ms Neo. "It is disheartening to learn that a fine was so quickly imposed and towards only one operator. We hope that LTA will consider giving us more time to do so." 

Last week, Ms Neo told Channel NewsAsia that ofo had been removing its surplus bikes, including pulling its broken bikes off the streets, to comply with the licensing regime.

Source: CNA/hs(ra)