Originally posted by FireIce:
A third bicycle sharing company wheeled its way into Singapore
Just three weeks ago, we reported that Chinese bicycle-sharing start-up oBike quietly made its mark with its fleet of user-friendly bikes that have since expanded from MRT stations and into the neighborhoods (a sign that people are quickly picking up the trend). Now, there’s another new player in the game.
Chinese company Ofo, which operates mainly in Beijing and Shanghai, has already released about 1,000 of their bikes to neighborhoods like West Coast and Punggol, as well as the CBD. Just like the other two competitor bike-sharing services MoBike (which recently received funding from Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and hedg funde Hillhouse Capital) and oBike, Ofo's bright yellow single-gear bikes have a lock on the real wheel which you can unlock through an app. Enter the bike’s unique serial number and you'll receive a passcode to enter into the lock. However, unlike oBike, you don't have to pay a deposit before going on a ride using Ofo’s bikes. They even have a super competitive fee of 50 cents per trip, compared to oBikes $1 per half hour. However, the downside is that its user interface doesn't have a map to show you where their bikes are available, something which oBike has already implemented in its app.
With these three bike-sharing services and Land Transport Authority’s proposed national bike-sharing pilot that’s slated to launch in the fourth quarter, you can soon get from Jurong to Punggol via the city’s park connectors and cycling networks without having to invest in your own bicycle (just your own fitness!). More info on Ofo bikes here.
Was wondering the difference between Ofo and O bikes fees. Good summary.
Ofo's bike and app updates will improve your next ride experience in Singapore
Bike-sharing is taking off in a big way in Singapore, and Ofo is stepping up to meet consumer demands. On this front, they’re introducing a new bike to their stable. 500 of them in fact.
The Aura 1.0 comes with three speed gears to tackle whatever terrain you feel like taking on, new adjustable handlebars, and an upgraded brake system to help you stop safely. If you’re using the bike to run errands, you’ll appreciate the new aluminium basket and cup holder to keep your hands free. Simply put, it should be a more comfortable ride. The new bike comes with a more secure lock and syncs with the app via Bluetooth to unlock in less than three seconds so you can get riding right away.
But every bike-sharing app user knows it’s not just about the bike; it’s as much about the app experience itself. After listening to feedback, the app now allows you to locate nearby unused bikes so looking for a ride is easier. You can also map your route thanks to connectivity with Google Maps and be notified of nearby parking zones, so no excuses for chucking the bike just anywhere now.
In the interest of stopping rampant bike abuse, users will need to make a one-time deposit of $39 upon updating the app, and rides will start at $1 per hour, capped at $2 for the whole journey. That’s still a pretty good deal and plenty worth it if it means everyone gets a good working Ofo bike to ride. You'll be able to get your deposit back in your account after seven working days should you request for a refund
Got all that? Now you just need to find one of those new bikes to experience all of this for yourself. Ride safe and treat the bike nice.
This story originally appeared on Stuff Singapore, bringing you what's next in the world of tech and gadgets, with a twist.
New bicycle parking zones at Bedok, Sembawang, City Hall
SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday (Jun 9) announced more bicycle parking zones in places such as Bedok, Loyang, Sembawang and City Hall.
In a Facebook post, LTA said the parking zones will provide close to 200 additional bicycle parking spaces.
In March, it introduced bicycle parking zones to Punggol, Hougang, Paya Lebar, Khatib, Sembawang, Pioneer and Lakeside.
Following reports of indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles in front of staircases, blocking fire escape routes and corridors, LTA said it is working with bicycle-sharing operators to incentivise users to park responsibly. "Strict enforcement action will be taken against all indiscriminately parked bicycles, so park your bicycles at the designated parking zones!" LTA added.
New e-scooter and bicycle sharing scheme at Singapore Science Park http://str.sg/4b8w
China's bike-sharing firm Wukong Bike closes after 90% of its bicycles go missing http://str.sg/4EwG
Mobike announces Mastercard partnership, unveils new bicycle model for Singapore
SINGAPORE: Bike-sharing company Mobike inked an exclusive partnership with Mastercard on Thursday (Jul 6) to integrate its Masterpass digital payment offering with the former's app. It also unveiled a new bicycle model for Singapore.
Mobike said in a press release that the integration of Masterpass with the Mobike app will allow riders to make "fast and secure in-app payments".
It will also "bring tangible insights into the way urban residents travel, and enable local city planners to examine Singapore’s transportation systems and how they can be made smarter and more flexible", it added.
To celebrate having passed its 100th day of operations in Singapore on Jun 28, the Chinese bike-sharing company also announced all-day free rides for users in Singapore until Jul 31.
The company said there has been "strong support" for its services so far, with local riders cycling an average of 2.7km using its bicycles. The longest distance cycled in a single trip was 108km, it added.
On Thursday, the bike-sharing service provider also announced it is introducing a newly designed model to the Singapore market featuring three gears, an adjustable seat "for comfortable riding" and solar-powered headlights. In response to Channel NewsAsia queries, the company clarified that some of these new bikes have already been deployed.
Shift gears with Mobike’s latest ride
Mobike’s come a long way in just 100 days since its launch in Singapore. With a total mileage of 147,000km and working their way to 10,000 bikes locally, it’s definitely a cause for celebration. Just as the Chinese traditionally throw a party on a child’s 100th day, Mobike’s thrown one too to unveil a new bike model and a collaboration with Mastercard.
Mobike’s listened to the riders. While it doesn’t look too different, its new features are surely welcome. The new bike features Shimano Nexus 3-speed gears that meet the terrain requirements of Singapore. It’s going to provide a much more comfortable ride, especially when cycling uphill.
To meet Singapore’s strict safety regulations, the lights are now brighter and redesigned. It’s even solar-powered, no longer battery-operated, so safety is assured.
And finally, we have a public bike with adjustable seats. No more toe-tipping to reach the pedals, or if you’re really tall, bending down for better balance.
All Mobike rides are free for the entire month of July, so ride away!
Mobike’s got plenty more goodies in store as well. To encourage responsible ridership, incentives are given to riders who park bikes in high intensity areas or designated areas. Those who do may enjoy “red packets” in the form of discounts and coupons on subsequent rides. Incorporating the Mobike brand into leisure riding is another vision for the company, and to achieve that, they’ve planted “treasure boxes” for riders to discover and be rewarded.
Soon, Mobike users can look forward to in-app payments via Masterpass, Mastercard’s global digital payment platform thanks to their new collaboration. You’re probably thinking, "not another one!", but their tie-in makes a lot of sense.
The goal is to use one single platform that settles ticketing and payment for all types of commute. Mobike is just a piece of Mastercard’s big idea to link up various forms of transport seamlessly with their Masterpass solution. Hopefully by year’s end, commuters can enjoy using their phones, wearables and a myriad of options to “unlock” travel in the city, paying for public buses, MRTs and bikes with a device of their choice. It’s fast, secure and definitely convenient.
Their signature orange and grey bikes may not be the easiest to find locally for now, but we were given a glimpse into the serious infrastructure and economies of scale Mobike has under its belt that could truly set itself apart in months to come. From pin-point accurate GPS-tracking that provides crucial data and usage patterns, to unlimited bikes at their disposal and operating in over 130 cities, the leaders of bike-sharing don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
This story originally appeared on Stuff Singapore, bringing you what's next in the world of tech and gadgets, with a twist.
278 dockless bicycles impounded so far in 2017: LTA
SINGAPORE: A total of 278 dockless bicycles have been impounded by authorities so far this year, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Aug 3).
In a Facebook post, LTA said its Active Mobility Enforcement Officers (AMEOs) have impounded 212 oBikes, 65 Mobikes, and one ofo bike. In July itself, 70 dockless bikes that were parked indiscriminately and not removed within the notice period were impounded.
LTA also reminded bike-sharing users to park in designated spaces so that subsequent riders can easily locate the bikes, and to minimise obstruction and inconvenience to path users.
In April, oBike introduced a points system to penalise users who illegally park and bike hog. Ofo bike also launched a credit system in June after some of its users were arrested for abusing the dockless bicycles.
Blinker rear light should be mandotary.
Singapore-based bike-sharing startup oBike has secured US$45 million in Series B investment from a slew of investors investors, including a leading unnamed global transportation platform.
Grishin Robotics, a VC fund owned by Dmitry Grishin (Co-founder and chairman of Russia’s Mail.Ru Group) and several family offices in Southeast Asia also co-invested in the round.
The company said in a statement it will use the funds to shift its gears to become a global player.
“We aim to bring our success story in Singapore to other parts of the world with this round of funding. We hope to empower commuters globally with flexibility, convenience while helping them reduce their carbon footprint at the same time,” oBike Co-founder and CMO Edward Chen said.
oBike is a station-less smart bike-sharing company that allows commuters to travel during one-way first- and last-mile commuting – via bicycles located all over the island. Since its launch in Singapore in January, the company has rolled out in Australia, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK.
All its bikes are environmentally-friendly.
The company recently said it would be introducing 1,000 new bicycles to its existing fleet. Dubbed Smart Generation, these bicycles are 5kg lighter than its predecessor. In addition to being lighter, the new bicycles have ergonomic handlebar, enabling a more user-friendly and smoother ride.
Bike-sharing is fast-becoming a culture of sorts in Southeast Asia, especially in Singapore. And the sector has been attracting massive rounds of funding over the past few months. Majority of the companies operating in Singapore are headquartered in China, including Mobike and Ofo.
In July. Ofo raised over US$700 million in Series E funding led by Alibaba Group, Hony Capital, and CITIC Private Equity, bringing its total funding raised to date to over US$1 billion. In June, Mobike, another bike-sharing giant raised over US$600 million in a Series E round led by long-time backer Tencent.
The post oBike raises US$45M in Series B to catch up with the speeding Mobike and Ofoappeared first on e27.
The SG Bike geostation emits a radio frequency identification (RFID) field which bike users must park within, or else they will be fined. ST PHOTO: JOSE HONG
From today (3rd October 2017) onwards, the EZ-Link card designed for buses and MRT rides can be used to pay for oBike rides. To top-up their oBike wallet, a user needs only to tap their contactless card against their Android OS smartphone when they are in the bike-sharing app.
"As a homegrown and leading bike-sharing operator in Singapore, oBike is thrilled to partner EZ-Link in supporting all Singaporeans on their journeys; whether it is on their first or last mile commute, or simply having a family day out. With the added convenience of being able to top up their oBike wallets via EZ-Link, we hope to empower all users across ages and lifestyle needs, to travel seamlessly whenever they hop on an oBike,” said Mr. Edward Chen, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of oBike.
The option to pay via EZ-Link card will appear as a top-up option in the oBike app. A user can move digital cash from their card to the app by selecting “EZ-Link M-Payment” when it’s available as an option. There are no extra charges should a user choose to top-up and pay with EZ-Link cards. In the future, oBike will support the refunding of said credits back into the EZ-Link card. This payment solution is the effort of MGG Software.
oBike's new payment method isn’t the only bike-sharing service that allows EZ-Link card payments. SG Bikes, a local bike-sharing startup firm, adopts a different implementation: you can eliminate the smartphone from the equation since SG Bikes lets you link an EZ-Link card to the app. Rides can be completed with just a contactless card, and the card can be subsequently shared across different riders.
oBike launches geofencing feature for its shared bicycles to curb indiscriminate parking http://str.sg/4Fxe
oBike to launch own cryptocurrency that lets users pay for rides, earn as they ride
SINGAPORE: Local bikesharing company oBike will launch its own cryptocurrency called oCoins in the first quarter of next year, the company said in a press release on Tuesday (Dec 26).
The company will be partnering with blockchain platform TRON to roll out these oCoins, which users will be able to use to pay for their rides and top up their oBike wallets.
In addition, users will generate oCoins whenever they ride on oBike - the longer they ride, the more oCoins they earn, oBike said.
They will also be able to use the cryptocurrency on applications on TRON's platform including on audio content community Peiwo and live-streaming app Uplive.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with TRON, a leading decentralised online content entertainment system," said oBike's co-founder and chief marketing officer Edward Chen.
"The collaboration with TRON will enable oBike users to generate and earn oCoins, which can then be used on apps and online content purchases."
The blockchain platform's founder Justin Sun said the company was excited about the partnership and were "certain that the TRON ecosystem will appeal to oBike users with its widespread popularity".
TRON is a blockchain-based, decentralised online content platform which lets content creators freely publish, store and own data.
Its cryptocurrency, called TRONIX (TRX), is ranked number 18 worldwide in the list of cryptocurrencies, according to the press release.
TRX has a market capacity of US$2.6 billion and is currently trading at US$0.04, it added.
oBike has just rolled out its own delivery service
Bicycle sharing service oBike wasn’t the first to penetrate our market, but it's definitely one that has been consistently evolving since its debut last Feb. Just a couple weeks back, they announced that that they'll be launching their own cryptocurrency called oCoins. And now, they’ve just pushed out a new delivery service called oBike Flash.
Unfortunately, it’s not that kind of delivery service where you can order food from your favorite restaurants and hawkers stalls or groceries from the supermarket to be sent to your place; you can stick to the usual suspects for that. Instead, oBike Flash is more of a courier service where you can get stuff—anything ranging from documents and small packages to food and clothes; as long as it’s 10kg or less—delivered between two points under two hours. Each delivery will cost $10 if it's within a five-kilometer radius, and an additional 30 cents per kilometer thereafter (up to 10km). However, if you're making a delivery between 11pm-7am, you'll have to fork out 50 cents per kilometer instead if it's between 10-20km.
We're not too sure how oBike Flash is going to fare in our market, especially when there are so many other courier services like local start-up GoGoVan and industry giants Speedpost; which means that they really need to stand out to win consumers over. Nonetheless, we applaud this new expansion, especially when competitors like Ofo and Mobike have other things, like ride hailing, in their pipeline. We’re also pretty confident that we’ll start seeing massive complaints about the service once people start trying it out, especially since its main business is still bicycle sharing.
Here comes Singapore’s first mountain-bike sharing service
Just when you thought Singapore’s had enough bike sharing services to go around, another one pops up. But this one’s a little different—instead of offering bikes to use in urban areas and neighborhoods like the five other services, these guys have set themselves apart by offering mountain bikes. Meet ShareBikeSG, Singapore's only mountain bike-sharing service.
The company was born out of pure passion by the owner of Aire MTB, a little shed over at Chestnut Nature Park which offers mountain bicycle rentals to anyone who’s up for a little adventure. With the arrival of bike-sharing services since last year, 30-year-old Ethan Tan decided to snuff out the competition by starting this bike-sharing service to bring convenience to those who want to ride in the park. Unlike the conventional bikes used from other services, these come with front suspension and seven gears; good for off-road riding in parks and biking trails (Chestnut Nature Park itself has a trail stretching more than 8km).
At the moment, there are only 300 bikes to go around and are currently located at places like Chestnut Nature Park, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Barrage. The frames of each of these bikes were designed by Tan himself, just like the ones being rented out at Aire MTB. It’s also fuss-free to rent—the ShareBikeSG uses an app available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. All you need to do is pay a refundable deposit of $9.90 (only until Jan 31; usual price $49), find a bike on the app, scan the QR code on the bike to unlock and you’re good to go. The rental prices are pretty competitive too ($1 for every half an hour), so bike to it.
It is an alliance between giants from two transport industries — one powered by two wheels and other by four wheels (and gas).
Today, oBike has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Grab to integrate the latter’s mobile payment platform, GrabPay, into its app. This will give oBike users a second option to pay for rides. Currently, they pay by topping up credits in their oBike wallet, which they do via credit/debit or EZ-link cards.
This initiative is currently localised to Singapore and will potentially convert oBike’s one million local riders to Grab users.
Using GrabPay, oBike users will also be able to earn GrabReward points, which can be used to redeem products such as Starbucks vouchers or Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer miles.
An official press statement stated that two more joint initiatives between Grab and oBike, which are aimed at improving the “on-demand transport infrastructure in Singapore”, are currently in the works. oBike did not provide further information.
“I believe that this partnership, between two market leaders, is a natural extension of our goal to enhance the bike-sharing experience for commuters and strengthen our position as Singapore’s first bike-sharing operator,” said Tim Phang, General Manager, oBike Singapore.
Late last year, Grab began trialling its full-suite version of GrabPay, allowing users to use the mobile wallet to make payments at offline merchants, such as hawker stalls and retail stores; it also enables users to conduct p2p money transfers.
Like Alibaba’s Alipay or Tencent’s WeChat payment, Grab wants to build an ecosystem where users can make all (or at least, most) transactions on one universal payment platform. Doing so will allow Grab to supercharge growth in its rider-base, ensure riders’ loyalty, as well as generate revenue outside its primary ride-hailing business.
Can Bike Sharing Services in Singapore Really Help You Save Money? http://bit.ly/2H9Xy4F
Ride-hailing firm Grab could be making a major foray into the bicycle-sharing industry, two months after it first announced a partnership with homegrown operator oBike.
Since then, there have been hints that it could be riding into the turf dominated by Ofo, Mobike, and oBike. On Monday (Mar 5), Grab posted a teaser on its Facebook page about an announcement on Friday with the tagline, “Something wheelie exciting is coming”. In its invitation for a media event, the company hinted at a “single app” that allows users to “explore the alleyways and neighbourhoods of Singapore with just a few taps”.
Pictures of oBike bicycles sporting GrabCycle livery have been making their rounds on social media since the two companies announced the tie-up in January.
A check by TODAY with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) found that a company called GrabCycle (SG) Pte Ltd was registered last November. The company was listed as an “app-enabled market place for bike sharing”, and a “bike and e-bike rental service”. It was registered under the names of Grab co-founder Anthony Tan and Ms Joanna Teng, who were listed as GrabCycle’s director and secretary, respectively.
Grab and oBike were tightlipped about GrabCycle and Friday’s announcement when contacted by TODAY. However, oBike general manager Tim Phang said that there are currently “two initiatives” in the works under the partnership.
In response to queries, a Grab spokesman said: “We are always exploring new mobility options to add to our suite of transport offerings. This includes our partnership with oBike to promote bike-riding as an alternative first- and last-mile commute across the island.”
While analysts said Grab’s entry into bike-sharing is a logical move, they believe the company is unlikely to enter an already saturated market on its own. Instead, it is more likely to either partner or buy over an existing player.
Dr Walter Theseira, transport economist from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), noted that it “makes sense” for Grab to go into bike-sharing as they want users to “think of their platform first when it comes to any sort of service related to transport, or even related to payments”.
Adjunct Associate Professor Zafar Momin from Nanyang Technological University’s Nanyang Business School added: “By partnering oBike, Grab potentially builds a bigger critical mass of customers and gets them conditioned to using GrabPay and other Grab services. The upfront payment model for cycles could also help their cash flow.”
In their January press release, oBike said that users would be able to use GrabReward points when paying for their rides using Grab’s e-payment platform, GrabPay, in the coming months.
Some experts felt that there should not be a separate app for GrabCycle, as Dr Theseira said that customers would likely prefer oBike’s services to be integrated into the Grab app.
SUSS transport researcher Park Byung Joon, however, noted that it would be better for Grab’s payment platform to be integrated in the oBike app instead. “If it’s (oBike services being integrated into Grab), Grab users might find the app too cumbersome – slower in loading, etc,” he said.
Dr Theseira also said that GrabCycle could help reduce overcapacity in the bike-sharing market. He added: “If a ride-hailing company ties up with more than one bike provider, that might be the kind of step you need to rationalise the market a bit.
“The way the market works now, it’s not clear that any of the providers can make any money, because there are too many of them and there are too many bicycles in the market.”
The tie-ups are already in overseas markets, as Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing announced in January plans to launch a bike-sharing platform within its own app. Starting with users in Beijing and Shenzhen, the platform will combine services from bike-sharing firms Bluegogo and Ofo, as well as its upcoming “own-branded bike-sharing service”.
However, Dr Theseira was unsure if GrabCycle will take off here, as he pointed out that unlike in China or European cities where there are many restrictions on driving your car in the city, private-hire cars and taxis are able to reach many parts of Singapore.
As Grab looks to expand on its offerings here, there are concerns that the firm could monopolise the transport industry. Mr Tham Chen Munn, an analyst with transport solutions firm PTV Group, said there are no grounds for concern as transport is still regulated by the Land Transport Authority.
“I’d be more concerned if it’s in cities like Jakarta because it could lead to monopoly and setting high prices,” he added.
But Adj Assoc Prof Zafar pointed out that there could be potential risk of monopolistic behaviour if Grab acquires rival Uber’s South-east Asian business, as that could lead to higher prices for consumers. It was reported last month that Uber is preparing to sell its ride-hailing business in the region to Grab in return for a substantial stake in the company.