Put away those EZLink cards, biking is the cheaper, greener and healthier way to go – but which ones are still operating around Singapore?
We all know the easiest ways to whizz around Singapore with kids: we’ve got some great safety seat solutions for cars and taxis, and now that strollers are allowed on the buses without having to be folded (hallelujah), getting around the island has never been less stressy. But what about when we don’t have the kiddos with us, or we want to avoid crowded public transport, and stay fit too? Pedal power is the way forward, we say! But the influx of all those bike sharing schemes seems to have hit a snag, with many of them ceasing operations already in light of a change in the law by the LTA. So who is still in the saddle, and who has parked up for the final time?
There’s no doubt about it, it was a great idea to have a fleet of bikes around the island for people to use affordably and conveniently. On paper it was an excellent plan. In reality there were bikes, bikes and more bikes cluttering up pathways, thrown in bushes, abandoned in swimming pools (we saw this more than once) and, sadly, too often broken. It became a big problem, and so in March this year the Land Transport Authority had had enough. It passed a bill to ensure that all bike sharing companies apply for a license by 7 July 2018 in order to continue operations. Of the eight operators who initially had bike share schemes running around the island, only five remain in the saddle…
GBikes, oBikes (who are in a current storm over unreturned deposits to customers and monies owed in fines) and ShareBikeSG have ceased operations.
Who’s still pedaling?
Find Mobike Preferred Locations (MPL) all around Singapore and use its app and QR codes the unlock your ride. Thanks to the cool GPS tracking system integrated into the cycle, you can park it in anywhere (within reason) once you’re done. Borrowing a bike will cost you just $0.50 per 30 minutes, making it way cheaper a transport option than taxis, buses or trains. Better for your bod, your wallet and the environment! And yes, it’s applied for a license.
Ofo is the worldwide bike sharing initiative bringing cycles to the masses all around the globe. Look for Ofo bikes at MRT stations and HDB estates, and download the app to get started for an easy ride. These guys charge per use rather than by time, and borrowing rates start from $1.00 per hour. Cheap, easy and way more fun than being packed onto the MRT like a sardine. Chances are good that it will carry on with its bike sharing schemes as an application for a license was indeed filed.
Rumour has it, and we will update accordingly, that these guys will cease operation once the 7 July deadline for a license passes (it hasn’t applied for one yet). It’s backed by Chinese electronics, Xiaomi, and was the sixth company to hit Singapore’s increasingly crowded bike sharing space. Look out for the distinctive white bikes, which can be rented from and returned to any parking spot using the mobile app.
With no deposit to pay (or lose if they go out of business!), SG Bike are still providing pedal power options all over Singapore. We love that this one also has a ‘family plan’ so you can unlock three bikes at once using the one account. You can also use contactless cards and EZ Link cards to score a ride if you don’t have the app. Has it applied for its license? Yes it has.
Anywheel have confirmed that it has submitted an application for a license, so these guys should wheely be okay for a few more rides. You know the drill: find one of its bikes, unlock it using your app, and push off. Look out for the funky green cycles – no deposit needed.
Lead image: Ofo via Facebook
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