Following the cancellation of Chinese bike-sharing company ofo’s license last April, a new bike-sharing start-up called Moov Technology purchased all the brand-new ofo bicycles that were left behind in a warehouse in Singapore and refurbished them, before launching them last month.
The company was granted a sandbox licence in April to have up to 1,000 bicycles, and as a result of that, their bikes was seen in the western part of Singapore like Boon Lay and Pioneer.
In a move to take their business to the next level, the firm has now applied to upgrade its sandbox license to a full license in the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) latest bicycle-sharing license application cycle.
When the license applications open every January and July, existing companies can apply to expand their fleet and new firms can apply for sandbox licenses to operate bike-sharing operations on a small scale.
It is said that the latest application cycle closed last week – 8 August.
LTA said to the Straits Times on Tuesday (13 August) that Moov was the only applicant in this cycle.
It added, “We are reviewing the application and will announce the outcome by the end of next month.”
However, LTA did not divulge details on how much Moov planned to expand its fleet by.
If that is not all, Moov’s chief operation officer Sharon Meng told ST last month that the company decided to operate in the western part of Singapore as it wants to concentrate its efforts on just one area for now to ensure the availability of bikes.
They selected the west as it had a proper mix of parking infrastructure and riding conditions, and will look at expanding to other areas in the country if it receives approval from LTA to widen its fleet size.
Currently, the number of shared bikes in the city-state is at around 39,000.
Besides Moov’s 1,000 bikes, other industry players like local start-ups Anywheel and SG Bike have license to operate 10,000 bikes and 3,000 bikes respectively. The biggest operator is Chinese firm Mobike as it has a license to operate 25,000 bikes.
However, Mobike and SG Bike revealed this week that they have concluded a S$2.54 million deal to transfer Mobike’s license and bikes to SG Bike, which will make the latter the biggest operator in the country.
In another statement on Tuesday, LTA noted that Mobike will still continue to operate under its existing license pending the authority’s approval of transfer.
“We have received their formal application to effect this transfer,” said LTA.
It added, “LTA is assessing the application and will announce our decision in due course.”