oBike Exits Singapore Due To “Stricter Regulations” By Land Transport Authority
oBike has flown the white flag and will cease operations in Singapore entirely.
On the back of a nearing deadline for bike-sharing operators to meet stricter LTA guidelines, oBike made this shock announcement via an online statement.
Breakup with Singapore via app
Many surprised users received a notification on oBike’s app, which cited difficulties to meet LTA’s new guidelines to stop “indiscriminate parking”.
oBike stated that they felt that the new regulations measures did not favour their beliefs of benefiting Singapore users with “dockless bicycle-sharing service”.
Users concerned about deposits
We spoke to a few confused oBike users, who tell us that they’re unsure of what’s going to happen to their security deposits within the app.
Security deposits typically cost $49, but only $19 if you’re a student.
One user also told us that he’s been chasing for his deposit to be returned for 3 months, only to be told last week that their finance team will get in touch with him to do a manual refund.
As of today, he hasn’t received an email yet.
It doesn’t look too good online either, with the top voted comment on oBike’s official statement also requesting for information on a deposit refund.
We’ve reached out to oBike for more information on this.
7 Jul LTA deadline looms
To refresh your memory, bike-sharing operators had to comply with LTA regulations by 7 Jul, in order to obtain a license to regulate their fleet sizes.
Outside of Singapore, however, oBike looks to continue services as per normal.
Users with oBike’s ‘Super VIP membership’ will still be able to use oBike in every other country, except Singapore.
According to the statement, those who wish to use oBike here, they’d have to do so with their partner ‘GrabCycle’.
Grab refutes oBike’s claim
Of course, this idea was immediately put down by their Grab counterpart. As a spokesperson clarified that Grab will,
No longer be able to offer [oBikes] on our GrabCycle market place app.
Grab added that they’ll be waiving fees related to active oBike subscriptions of GrabCycle, as they know it will impact their customers’ experiences.
Not the first to exit Singapore
Having launched in Feb 2017 to much fanfare, it’s a pity that oBike will be abandoning their venture here after little over a year.
But for their million users in this country, it may come as a surprise that this bike-sharing giant is not the first to exit Singapore.
GBikes – unaffiliated to Grab or Google – boasting a fleet of 3,000 rental bicycles, had announced their departure earlier this month as well.
Bike-sharing apps left?
With oBike gone, will competitors Mobike, Ofo, SG Bike and Anywheel take advantage of the gaping hole left by oBike’s departure?
Or will they stand to follow in the wheels of this giant?
More importantly, as seen from Uber’s departure in the ride-sharing industry, we’re sorely going to miss having yet another option, once oBike leaves for good.
Thanks for the memories though, it was fun while it lasted.
Featured image from Autoworld.
Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.