The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced today (July 1) that it has awarded a Type 2 (sandbox) licence to Chinese bike-sharing giant HelloRide, allowing it to operate a shared mobility service in Singapore with a fleet of up to 1,000 bicycles.
The licence is valid for up to one year, after which HelloRide is required to apply for Type 1 (full) licences, which will allow it to operate a larger fleet of bicycles.
LTA will evaluate the licence applications based on several factors, such as the applicant’s track record and ability to manage indiscriminate parking and ensure healthy fleet utilisation.
HelloRide’s entry to Singapore means that there are now three bicycle-sharing players here, including Anywheel and SG Bike. They are both Type 1 (full) licensees, and the total fleet size across all three players are 36,000 bicycles.
In particular, SG Bike has grown to become the largest bike-sharing player in Singapore after its acquisition of Mobike.
S’pore once saw a bike-sharing boom
In 2017, Singapore started seeing a bike-sharing boom. Many Chinese firms emerged into the scene, before local players started joining the race.
At its peak, nine bike-sharing companies were operational in Singapore — oBike, ofo, Mobike, SG Bike, GBikes, ShareBikeSG, Baicycle, Anywheel and Moov Technology — offering a total of more than 200,000 shared bicycles.
However, the bike-sharing landscape quickly got ugly. Since these dockless bike-sharing services exploded onto the streets, indiscriminate parking and vandalism became rampant.
People frequently reported finding pedestrian pathways and HDB void decks obstructed, bike-sharing bicycles badly damaged, and even bicycles being dumped into canals.
It was equally as messy on the operators’ end — several companies made some dramatic exits, from bankruptcies to abandoned operations.
Regardless, it seems that the second wave of bike-sharing companies seem to be coping well and have found a strategy to remain sustainable. With the entry of a new firm, it may either disrupt or accelerate the bike-sharing space in Singapore.
Featured Image Credit: HelloRide via LTA