The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that Anywheel Pte Ltd and Moov Technology Pte Ltd were given in-principle approval to operate dockless bicycle-sharing services in public places.
LTA said earlier in a press release on Wednesday (3 March) that a total of three bicycle-sharing operators (BSO) licences applications were received during the last application cycle which closed on 11 February 2019.
However, following a careful evaluation, LTA has decided to graduate Anywheel from a sandbox license, from up to 1,000 bicycles to a full BSO licence for up to 10,000 bicycles. Meanwhile, Moov Technology Pte Ltd, a newcomer, will be granted a sandbox licence for up to 1,000 bicycles.
Unfortunately, the authority stated that the third applicant, Ywise Circle Pte Ltd, was unsuccessful in its application as LTA has assessed that it did not meet the evaluation criteria.
According to LTA, all applications are assessed based on a set of common set of evaluation criteria which took into consideration factors such as the applicant’s proposal to manage indiscriminate parking, fleet utilisation, its financial strength and track record, if applicable.
Under LTA’s licensing framework, operators who have been granted sandbox and full licences for device-sharing services will be allowed to operate in public places for one year and two years respectively.
LTA stressed that it will impose conditions, including the maximum fleet size that each licensee is allowed to deploy. They must also meet other requirements such as implementing a Quick Response (QR) code parking system to ensure users park within designated parking areas. This seeks to ensure that licensees operate responsibly and do not create disamenities in providing their services.
It said that it will not hesitate to take regulatory action against licensees who fail to comply with the conditions of their licence and standards of performance and noted that it will regularly review the fleet sizes so that the population of shared bicycles can support user demand. Licensed operators can submit applications to expand their fleet sizes twice a year in January and July.
Licensees which have demonstrated they are able to manage their fleet effectively by minimising indiscriminate parking and maximising utilisation rate will have the opportunity to grow their fleets, it added.
It said that it will announce the decision on the PMD-sharing licence applications by mid-2019. More time is needed to evaluate this first licence application cycle for PMD-sharing activities, which involve new activities such as the charging of shared devices that are not present in bicycle-sharing services.
Recently, the authority cancelled Chinese bike-sharing operator Ofo operating licence after it missed an extended deadline to remove its bicycles from public spaces.
LTA claims that despite multiple warnings and regulatory action taken against them, Ofo had not been able to reduce its deployed bicycle fleet to the stipulated maximum fleet size of 10,000, as well as managing to implement the QR-code parking system by 14 January.