Bicycle sharing seems like a great idea, only if you happen to live near a docking station. The LTA announced earlier this year that they’ll be launching a pilot that will see 1,000 bicycles for public use across 100 docking stations that are within walking distance from one another around the Jurong Lake District starting next year. But we’re going to see more than just that: Chinese start-up MoBike is planning to expand their new, revolutionary their stationless bicycle-sharing service to Singapore (we’re the first destination outside of China) from next year.
The idea is simple: instead of renting or returning the bike at a docking station, you can do so at pretty much any public bicycle parking space. All you need to do to start putting the pedal to the metal is to look for nearby bicycles through an app, and then unlock it by scanning a QR code. MoBike uses its own fleet of bicycles and has a rear-wheel lock so you don’t have to bring around a chain-lock of sorts. Besides, they’re all tracked via GPS at all times. Mobike also claims that these bikes don’t need much maintenance as they’re made using aluminium, have airless tires and are recharged as the rider pedals. They use a crank-and-shaft system with a concealed drivetrain (making them more weather resistant too), so you don’t have to worry about chains falling off.
The pilot is slated to take off next year at universities and polytechnics, though there aren’t any concrete dates or venues yet. The price to rent a bike has not been revealed either, but in China, it costs only 1 RMB ($0.20) per half an hour with a deposit of 299 RMB ($44). We’re staying cautiously excited but this is definitely the right step to make Singapore a little more car lite.