SINGAPORE: Bike-sharing companies Mobike and ofo have submitted licence applications to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday (Jun 29) to continue their operations.
"Today's submission is a testament to our commitment to Singapore and part of our ongoing effort to ensure that our riders can get to their destinations with ease," said ofo Singapore general manager Yau Fun Heng in a media release.
"The company remains confident in the bike-sharing industry in Singapore and will continue working with our partners to positively contribute to the Singapore government's vision of a car-lite nation," added Yau.
ofo's licence application is for a fleet of 80,000 bicycles.
Mobike Singapore country manager Sharon Meng confirmed in an email statement that the company has also submitted its licence application as well, although it did not include the number of bicycles in its fleet.
"We remain confident that we have submitted a compliant bid, We would like to assure our riders they can continue to enjoy riding Mobikes in Singapore with no disruption to our service," said Ms Meng.
"We sincerely hope that LTA will recognise our enthusiasm and commitment to continue to provide a sustainable and affordable mode of transport to residents in Singapore, and look forward to LTA’s decision to award licences to qualifying bike-sharing operators.”
Anywheel also submitted its application on Friday, the company told Channel NewsAsia. It has a fleet of 4,000 bicycles, a quarter of which are in active deployment.
Meanwhile, SG Bike, which has a fleet of 1,500 bicycles, submitted its application on Wednesday. It told Channel NewsAsia that it is making changes to its app to comply with the licensing requirements.
The changes include requiring users to scan the unique QR code at parking locations as proof of proper parking before they can end their trip. Users who park indiscriminately will be charged continuously until they return the bicycle to a designated parking space.
The LTA has set a Jul 7 deadline for bike-sharing firms to either apply for a licence to operate in public places or cease operations.
Those who submit them will have their applications evaluated and licence awarded by September.
The new requirement by LTA follows the passage in May of the Parking Places (Amendment) Bill, a piece of legislation aimed at tackling the indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles.
Unlicensed operators may be fined up to S$10,000 and/or jailed up to six months. They may also face a fine of S$500 for each day the offence continues.
ofo and Mobike, along with SG Bike, Anywheel and oBike, had confirmed with Channel NewsAsia last week that they would be submitting their applications before the LTA deadline.
In a surprise announcement on Monday, however, oBike said that it would shut down its operations in Singapore from Jun 25, citing difficulties in meeting the new LTA requirements.
The LTA has since instructed oBike to work with its liquidator to remove its bicycles from public spaces by Jul 4, amid concerns that its fleet of about 14,000 bicycles is being left abandoned on streets, pavements and parks all over the country.
Additional reporting by Cheryl Goh.