Obike bicycles spotted at East Coast Park on Apr 28, 2017. Photo: Wee Teck Hian/TODAY
SINGAPORE — In less than half a year since bike-sharing made its debut in Singapore, some bike-rental kiosks and companies have taken a hit due to its immense popularity, with one reporting a drop in revenue of around 20 to 30 per cent.
While things are not so dire yet, these businesses are not resting on their laurels either.
One company, for example, is bringing in more basic bicycle models and lowering rental prices to lure customers back. Another is touting package deals and discounts, while others bank on their service standards.
There are now three private players making a stake in the bike-sharing market here: Chinese firms Mobike and ofo, and Singapore operator oBike.
Their bicycles are placed around the island at designated spots, ready for riders to pay and use with the help of mobile applications on smartphones. Depending on the firm, there is a deposit ranging from $19 to $49, but that aside, a 15-minute ride can cost as low as 50 cents, and rates go higher with the duration of the ride. There are frequent promotions of free rides as well.
On competing at price points, the bike-rental companies said that it is “impossible” to match the low rates that bike-sharing companies offer.