Chinese bicycle-sharing giant HelloRide has been granted permission to increase its fleet of shared bicycles in Singapore.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) confirmed last Saturday (July 1) that HelloRide has been awarded a full license to operate up to 10,000 shared bicycles in Singapore until 30 June 2025.
This development positions HelloRide as the second-largest bicycle-sharing operator in Singapore, trailing behind Anywheel, which has an approved fleet size of up to 30,000 bicycles.
The third operator, SG Bike, has seen a reduction in its fleet size from 5,000 to 1,500 shared bicycles. This is a huge contrast to its past 25,000-strong fleet size after its acquisition of Mobike, which made it the largest bicycle-sharing operator in Singapore in 2021.
During the peak of the bike-sharing trend in 2017, Singapore allowed more than 200,000 shared bicycles on its streets, with nine different operators in the market. However, financial difficulties and the introduction of the LTA’s licensing regime led to the exit of major players, leaving behind unresolved issues such as uncollected bikes and unpaid user refunds.
HelloRide entered Singapore in July 2022
HelloRide, backed by Chinese conglomerate Alibaba’s fintech affiliate Ant Group, became the first Chinese company to operate a shared bicycle service in Singapore since the introduction of the licensing regime.
Initially granted a “sandbox” license for a year, HelloRide has now successfully obtained a full license to expand its operations beyond the initial fleet of 1,000 bicycles.
HelloRide announced in 2022 that it would primarily deploy its blue-coloured shared bikes in prominent locations such as East Coast Park, Marina Bay Sands, the National Stadium, parks along the Kallang River, and districts including Little India, Bugis, and Boon Keng.
Unlike some other operators, HelloRide does not collect deposits from users, but requires them to top up an e-wallet from which fares are deducted.
The LTA said that it evaluated several factors when assessing HelloRide’s application for a full license, including fleet utilisation rate, the company’s track record in managing indiscriminate parking, and its ability to fulfil license conditions and performance standards.
It added that over 90 per cent of shared bicycle users currently end their trips at designated parking areas, indicating the effectiveness of regulatory requirements such as QR-code parking and efforts by bicycle-sharing operators to promote responsible parking habits.
Featured Image Credit: HelloRide SG via Facebook