New bicycle sharing scheme launched
Without any fanfare, a new bicycle sharing scheme has wheeled itself into the northern and western parts of Singapore.
The white, single-geared oBikes, which come with a bell and reflectors, are available for hire at some MRT stations, including Buona Vista, Jurong East, Bukit Batok, Woodlands and Sembawang.
Users can search for and find nearby oBikes via the company's mobile app.
They can then rent the oBike via the app at $1 for 30 minutes by scanning a QR code on the bike with their phones.
That automatically unlocks the bike and it can then be ridden and parked at any public bicycle parking bay near the user's destination.
The user stops being charged once the bike is locked.
Payment is done via credit card.
oBike, a Chinese company, has broken away from other players making moves into the local market. They include Ofo and Mobike, which operate in major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
It is not known how many oBikes there are in Singapore, but The Straits Times saw over a dozen at Buona Vista and Jurong East respectively yesterday.
The company did not respond to requests for comment.
The oBike scheme is novel in that it does not require users to return the devices at fixed locations.