[Update, 25 June, 4:35pm] A Grab spokesperson has said in a statement that they “will no longer be able to offer oBike’s bicycles on the GrabCycle marketplace effective today, as oBike will not have the appropriate bike-sharing license to operate in Singapore, nor will they be maintaining their fleet of bicycles.”
Grab added that they understand customers’ experience will be impacted with one less partner on the GrabCycle app, so they “will be waiving all existing GrabCycle subscription fees and deposits”.
GrabCycle will offer a four-week free trial for current users to try out their newest bike-sharing partner, Anywheel.
After a troubled month in which they generated an uproar for converting the $49 deposit in idle accounts into Super VIP Membership Subscriptions without users’ consent, and then blamed it on a ‘technical lapse’, oBike announced today that it will cease operations in Singapore, effective immediately.
According to the bike-sharing firm, the sudden decision to terminate its local operations is due to “difficulties foreseen to be experienced to fulfil the new requirements and guidelines released by Land Transport Authority”.
An amendment to the Parking Places Bill now requires bike-sharing companies to apply for a license that will allow them to operate in public spaces for two years.
The new requirements state that operators have to temporarily ban users who park bicycles indiscriminately, or face penalties of up to S$100,000, reductions in fleet size, suspension or even cancellation of their license for failure to comply.
The LTA will assess how well these companies address the issue of bike parking by their users, and review their fleet sizes based on their performance every six months.
oBike said it strongly believes in providing a dock-less bike-sharing service that benefits users as well as Singapore’s transportation system, but regrets that “the new regulation measures do not favour this belief of ours”.
If You Still Want To Use oBike, Here’s How You Can
Users who are currently Super VIP members and want to continue using oBike can still use the service in all other operating countries.
Otherwise, it would be most advisable to refund your deposit with oBike.
oBike expresses its “sincerest appreciation to more than 1 million users” in Singapore who have been on board with them since they launched their services in January 2017.
Featured Image Credit: oBike