PMD-sharing just isn’t getting off to a good start in Singapore.
Just last November, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) impounded 42 personal mobility devices (PMDs) operated by three local e-scooter sharing firms, Neuron Mobility, Telepod, and Beam, because they were “found available for hire at public places” in spite of not having the required licenses or exemptions from the Minister of Transport.
Out of the 42, 26 of them belonged to Neuron Mobility, 15 to Telepod, and 1 to Beam.
In a bid to regulate the industry, PMD-sharing firms were asked to apply for a license during the application exercise, which happened in Jan 2019.
Penalties for unlicensed operators will include a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a jail term of up to 6 months. Operators will also be subject to additional fines of $500 per day if they continue providing their services after being convicted.
14 firms applied for the PMD-sharing license during the exercise last month.
Yesterday (21 Feb), LTA announced that as of 14 February, it had impounded another 68 PMDs from Telepod and 131 from Neuron Mobility, both of whom are still awaiting approval for their PMD-sharing license.
Similar to the situation last November, the PMDs were impounded because they had been “illegally made available for hire at public places”.
According to LTA, Telepod had been given “repeated written warnings” before the impoundment.
Investigations into Neuron Mobility have also been completed, and the firm will be charged at a later date.
On the situation, LTA gave a stern warning to firms interested in operating PMD-sharing services in Singapore:
“LTA would like to remind all operators that when evaluating licence applications, LTA will consider their track record, including their compliance with the law and regulatory requirements.”