Two companies fined $54k for illegally providing shared PMD services
E-scooter sharing operators Telepod and Neuron Mobility were fined yesterday for illegally providing e-scooter services at public places.
Neuron, which faced 19 charges, was fined $38,000, while Telepod was fined $16,000 after being found guilty of eight charges under the Parking Places Act.
District Judge Lorraine Ho noted both companies have since ceased operations.
When contacted, a spokesman for Telepod told The New Paper it temporarily ceased operations in Singapore last month. Neuron told TNP it paused operations here since July.
The two companies are the first to be convicted over offences involving public personal mobility device (PMD) sharing.
A total of 93 undocked electric scooters belonging to Neuron were found between last October and February this year in locations around Singapore including Fullerton Road, Boat Quay and outside Amoy Street Food Centre.
There were also 48 undocked e-scooters belonging to Telepod found in public places including Beach Road and near Har Par Villa MRT station between last July and February this year.
LTA enforcement officers were able to hire all the electric scooters with their mobile phones, with the process captured on video footage.
Last July, LTA had announced that those without a licence issued by LTA are not allowed to operate undocked vehicle sharing services in public places in Singapore.
New operators that intend to provide such services may apply for a licence in January this year.
LTA had informed Telepod on several occasions that it was not allowed to operate in public places without a licence.
LTA prosecutor Daniel Marini said Telepod had affixed a guide in some locations, designating them as a "pod", where users can rent and return the e-scooters, even though Telepod had no permission to do so.
He added: "Such a guide on public land will also mislead members of the public into thinking that hiring of the electric scooters from the yellow box or public bicycle parking racks at public places are legitimate."
He also added that although Neuron knew about the rules, it ignored the notifications and continued to operate in public.
It accrued about 58 detected offences between October last year and February this year.
There are only three areas - One-North, CleanTech Park, and Republic Polytechnic - where operators of vehicle-sharing services are exempt from operating with a licence.