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[LOCAL NEWS] Bike sharing scheme kick-started in northern and western Singapore

CHARLES LEE - 22nd Jan 2017

Now, Singapore has a new-found feature that is already so common in many other developed nations: Bike sharing. Residents who stay in the northern and western areas of Singapore would already have noticed the white, single-geared oBikes that are available for rental at several MRT stations, including Buona Vista, Jurong East, Bukit Batok, Woodlands and Sembawang.

Equipped with a bell and reflectors, each oBike can be hired for 30 minutes at a rental price of $1. Leveraging on the mobile applications platform, users will first have to download the oBike mobile app. From the app, users can then search for the nearest available oBike. Once the user found the oBike, he or she will simply use the smartphone to scan the QR Code that is found on the bike. This will automatically unlock the bike. Payment is done via credit card and the user will stop being charged once the bike is locked.

oBikes are operated by a Chinese company, which has decided not to compete with adversaries in the local market. Some of its competitors include Ofo and Mobike, which operate in major Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

It is not known how many oBikes are deployed in Singapore. According to The Straits Times, over a dozen oBikes are seen at Buona Vista and Jurong East respectively yesterday.

Considered a novelty in the bike sharing sphere, users who rented the oBikes are not required to return the bikes at prescribed locations.