St John's Island to get bike rental kiosk after successful trial in 2021
St John's Island will get a permanent bicycle rental kiosk following a successful trial last year.
A spokesman for the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which will appoint an operator to run the kiosk, said its trial between last March and September received positive feedback from users, prompting it to set up a kiosk.
It will work with the Singapore Land Authority, which manages the Southern Islands, to have a kiosk operate for two years.
The new kiosk will be located about 400m from the jetty on St John's Island, where visitors arriving from Marina South Pier disembark. The island is linked to Lazarus, Seringat and Kias Islands. The beach on Lazarus is a popular spot among those who visit the island cluster.
Those arriving from Sentosa will need to walk about 1km to the kiosk from Seringat Jetty.
While the SDC spokesman said the number of proposed operating days wass to be confirmed, procurement documents state the kiosk could operate for 205 days a year, including Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as school holidays.
Where appropriate, the appointed operator can monitor demand and further calibrate its opening days, added the spokesman.
The operator will be allowed to sell canned and bottled drinks, although the sale of alcoholic drinks will be prohibited.
It will also not be allowed to rent or sell any motorised mobility devices, such as electric bicycles, and portable barbecue pits.
Mr Gusdiharto Pratomo, 46, who explored St John's Island with his son last year using their own bicycles, said that, on a bike, he could cover most of the island in a day, something not possible on foot.
"It may seem like a small cluster, but you can't see everything just walking," said the product manager in the information technology industry.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, visitor numbers to the Southern Islands have ballooned, with travel-starved Singapore residents looking for recreation options within the country.
There were bout 200,000 visitors in 2021 - more than twice the number for 2019.
Visitors can also look forward to more activities at Bendera Bay - a lagoon on St John's Island's eastern side - led by volunteer group Friends of Marine Park.
Dr Karenne Tun, director of the coastal and marine branch at the National Parks Board's National Biodiversity Centre, said the group organised more than 40 volunteer-led activities last year, such as beach and underwater clean-ups and citizen-science research at Bendera Bay.
In 2022, the board will continue to partner the group through ground-up programmes and activities at the bay that foster a sense of stewardship and community, added Dr Tun.