Thirteen bids for Jurong Lake District bike-sharing system contract
13 bidders eye contract to implement bike-sharing programme in Jurong Lake District
The contract to implement and operate the bicycle-sharing system in Jurong Lake District will be awarded in the first half of next year.
Responding to queries from The New Paper yesterday, a spokesman for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) revealed the target dateand also confirmed it had received 13 bids for the contract.
On Thursday, Chinese language daily Lianhe Zaobao reported that among the bidders are a few companies from abroad, including Taipei's YouBike and JCDecaux, which is currently providing Velib bicycles in Paris.
Lianhe Zaobao approached some of the bidders, but they declined to comment due to an agreement with the authority.
LTA is also exploring an expansion of the pilot programme to the Marina Bay/City Centre area, Tampines and Pasir Ris - all to be run by a single operator.
Lianhe Zaobao said the three areas will provide a total of 2,300 bicycles and 230 bicycle stops. The contract will be for eight years.
Singapore's first large-scale bicycle-sharing programme will kick off in the Jurong Lake District from the end of next year.
The government tender was called on July 29 to find an operator to build, run and maintain the project.
The plan will provide commuters in Jurong with round-the-clock access to the bicycles, with convenient pick-up and drop-off points for users.
A permanent resident, who wanted to be known only as Guillaume, is looking forward to using the bicycles. The 40-year-old Canadian, who has lived in Montreal and Toronto, said similar facilities are already available in the two cities.
Guillaume has called Singapore home for more than five years and works in Jurong.
He said: "Jurong is huge, and many places are not accessible by MRT so commuters have to take buses.
"During peak hours, these buses are often packed and commuters cannot get on.
"With shared bicycles, people can easily hop on and hop off."
Housewife Pauline Tan, 35, shared the sentiment.
The mother of two said: "Some people ride their own bicycles, and I notice that the bicycle stands at MRT stations in Jurong are often full.
"With drop-off spots, these shared bicycles will make it easier for people to cycle without worrying if there will be enough space to park the bicycles."
But student Alex Ang was sceptical about the plan.
Said the 18-year-old: "I don't think Singaporeans will utilise the shared bicycles because of our hot climate.
"Also, I don't know how the authorities will monitor the situation if the bicycles get stolen."
According to Guillaume, users in Canada have to use their credit card to pay for using the shared bicycles.
He said: "If you don't return the bikes, the system will just deduct the amount from your card. So people will return the bicycles after using them.
"You don't have to worry about bicycle theft."