Will e-scooter sharing firms in Singapore ever catch a ‘brake’?
Last week, Uber-backed e-scooter sharing company, Lime, decided to withdraw its sandbox licence.
Now, Neuron Mobility has been reported to be facing an additional 56 charges over the provision of the devices in public places without a licence or exemption.
This is on top of two more of the same offence under the Parking Places Act in February, according to The Straits Times (ST).
At that time, 131 e-scooters from the startup were impounded by the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA).
In November, 26 out of 42 e-scooters seized by the LTA belonged to Neuron Mobility.
According to ST, a total of 144 e-scooters from Neuron Mobility were impounded as of 25 February.
Zachary Wang Zizi, CEO of Neuron Mobility, appeared in court yesterday representing the company for the hearing.
If convicted, the firm may be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to six months.
He can also be fined up to an additional $500 a day or part of a day if the offence continues after conviction.
Just two months ago, the Singapore startup expanded to Australia, becoming the largest e-scooter sharing firm in Brisbane.
The firm also expanded to Malaysia in January this year.
LTA previously said it would award the licences in the second quarter of this year to qualified companies but it has been pushed back to the third quarter “in the light of safety concerns”, ST wrote.
While some firms may lament that the authorities are too strict, it should have come as no surprise as there have been plenty of reminders.
With the rising number of PMD (personal mobility device) accidents, e-scooter sharing firms should better regulate the use of their devices in public.
Leaving it up to social vigilantism will only drain more resources for e-scooter sharing firms here, yet, they are not doing more to tackle these issues.
Featured Image Credit: Neuron Mobility Facebook, Bangkok Post