Rise of shared bikes led to closure of Admiralty parking facility, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Rise of shared bikes led to closure of Admiralty parking facility

This article is more than 12 months old

An underground bicycle parking facility next to Admiralty MRT station fell victim to the rapid growth in popularity of dockless shared bicycles and e-scooters.

Explaining why the $4.7 million facility failed, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan told the House yesterday that the rise of dockless shared bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) had "dramatically shifted the usage and parking patterns of privately owned bicycles".

As fees collected could not cover operating costs, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) decided to end the trial on Dec 28 last year, he added.

Mr Khaw was responding to Nominated MP Walter Theseira, who asked about the studies, projections and cost-benefit analyses surrounding the bicycle parking facility.

The facility, SecureMyBike, was built to house more than 500 bicycles and address the local shortage of bicycle parking spaces.

Located within the Kampung Admiralty development next to the MRT station, the facility opened on Jan 5, 2018, after four years of construction.

But just three spaces were used daily between February 2018 and September last year, while fewer than five monthly passes were bought on average.

Mr Khaw recounted how there was a "serious" shortage of surface bicycle parking spaces at Admiralty station during peak hours when the facility was conceived. According to projections, he said, more than 500 bicycle parking spaces were needed to cater to long-term demand near the station.

Prior to building the facility, the LTA had studied Japan's extensive underground bicycle parking lots, which could each store up to 200 bicycles and charged users up to $35 a month.

In comparison, the Admiralty facility charged users either a monthly fee of $22 for unlimited use, which rose to $48 a month after three months.

At the time, LTA attributed the low take-up to the fees users had to pay to use the facility, as well as the availability of free bicycle parking in the area.

Despite the "disappointing" outcome, the minister expressed hope that such facilities could regain favour, should the usage of shared and privately owned bicycles rise as the number of PMDs comes down. The 198 sq m of underground parking space can also be repurposed, said Mr Khaw. - WONG KAI YI