From 200 To 25,000 Bicycles: How SG Bike Turned The Largest Bike-Sharing Agency In S’pore

From 200 To 25,000 Bicycles: How SG Bike Became The

The bike-sharing panorama in Singapore has seen a growth and bust through the years.

Again in 2017, it was saturated with seven bike-sharing gamers however many additionally exited the market inside a couple of years.

Out of that seven gamers, solely two are nonetheless standing sturdy at the moment — Anywheel and SG Bike.

SG Bike has since grown to develop into the most important bike-sharing participant in Singapore after its acquisition of Mobike with a present fleet dimension of 25,000 bicycles.

It Began Out With 200 Bicycles

Sean Tay (left) and Benjamin Oh (proper) / Picture Credit score: SG Bike

Based by Singaporeans Benjamin Oh, Sean Tay and David Lim, SG Bike was launched in August 2017 with a small fleet dimension of 200 bicycles at Holland Bukit Panjang.

It’s Benjamin’s and David’s first rodeo within the bicycle business. Sean however, has been concerned in his household’s bicycle rental enterprise alongside East Coast Park, which has been round for over 30 years.

The thought to start out a bike-sharing enterprise stemmed from the early days of 2008, the place there was an curiosity to faucet on know-how to alter the way in which folks can hire bicycles, as noticed from worldwide markets.

Nonetheless, many challenges had been met because of problem in panorama and availability of know-how.

– Benjamin Oh, co-founder of SG Bike

When the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) known as a young for a nationwide bicycle-sharing scheme in 2016, it introduced the trio with a enterprise alternative.

Nonetheless, the federal government initiative was later shelved after a number of non-public companies started providing such providers.

Unfazed, the three 28-year-olds was decided to carry shared bicycles to Singapore in order that they labored on a dockless bike-sharing system.

SG Bike was later conceptualised with ISOTeam as a three way partnership to offer a localised bike-sharing expertise.

Though the bike-sharing market was saturated after they first launched, they’ve by no means felt that it was an unfavourable time to startup.

“We really feel there isn’t a proper or improper time to enter the market. We needed to enter as early as we will to make a distinction within the bike-sharing business,” stated Benjamin.

An Various Transport Possibility For S’poreans

sg bike bicyclePicture Credit score: SG Bike

Bicycles have all the time been a well-liked transport mode in Singapore and bike-sharing providers has helped to extend the accessibility of bicycles.

Bike-sharing seeks to enhance the (transport) expertise and permit as many people to have entry to bicycles by leveraging on know-how.

(It) supplies quick access to a bicycle at any level in a person’s commute round Singapore, even outdoors of their neighbourhood.

– Benjamin Oh, co-founder of SG Bike

Past that, it supplies customers with a wholesome and lively way of life, and serves as a quick journey possibility to finish the primary and last-mile journey.

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With bike-sharing, customers needn’t fear about bills associated to bicycle possession and upkeep too.

One distinctive proposition of SG Bike is that in contrast to another bike-sharing corporations, it doesn’t requires its customers to position a deposit first. Customers can as an alternative choose to pay-per-use or subscribe to a journey go.

Underneath the pay-per-use mannequin, customers pay for every journey with the stability of their SG Bike account.

Normal bicycles value S$1 for the primary 30 minutes and S$zero.03 for each subsequent minute, whereas leisure bicycles value S$three for the primary 30 minutes and $zero.06 for each subsequent minute.

sg bike ride pass priceSG Bike’s journey go pricing / Screenshot from SG Bike’s web site

With a journey go nevertheless, customers can take limitless 30-minute journeys with the usual bicycles throughout the validity interval. Any further utilization is charged at a pay-per-use charge: S$three.90 for a 7-day journey go, and S$11.90 for a 30-day journey go.

Fixing The ‘Littering’ Downside Of Bicycles

Within the early days, one of many key issues of bike-sharing is the indiscriminate bicycle parking.

sg bike geostation technologyPicture Credit score: SG Bike

To resolve that, SG Bike developed an in-house Geostation know-how, which makes use of RFID to get customers to park at designated areas (ie. yellow containers and bicycle racks).

They labored intently with the respective city councils to debate how they’ll probably incorporate their Geostatation know-how at void decks and across the neighbourhoods.

This made SG Bike the one bike-sharing operator in Singapore that required customers to park bicycles at designated areas again then.

sg bike parkingPicture Credit score: SG Bike

Failure to take action will end in a warning sound when locking the bicycle, and the person shall be penalised ought to he/she insist to depart the bicycle parked indiscriminately after a 15-minute grace interval to unlock the bicycle and relocate it.

Benjamin shared that the response at the beginning was combined as they confronted some preliminary resistance from customers who had been used to having the ability to randomly park the bicycles.

The majority of the customers don’t see the necessity to park shared bicycles in a accountable method since that was the “norm” again then when there was no correct management for parking among the many service operators.

This was on prime of ongoing market situations market situations the place there have been value wars between opponents.

– Benjamin Oh, co-founder of SG Bike

No matter these challenges, SG Bike pushed on with their Geostation know-how and believed that it’ll assist “make a (constructive) distinction within the business.”

Fortunately, there have been customers and stakeholders who appreciated their efforts. They recognised that the know-how additionally helps customers to have the ability to higher find bicycles.

Over time, customers discovered the way to use their know-how and providers, and appreciated the comfort of a extra organised bike-sharing service.

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LTA additionally later applied the QR code parking system, whereby customers are required to finish journeys at designated parking areas and scan the related QR code, or threat getting banned and/or charged with a further charge.

This implementation has considerably helped to alleviate the issue of indiscriminately parked bicycles.

The S$2.54M Acquisition Of Mobike

From 200 bicycles at launch, SG Bike’s fleet dimension grew to three,000 bicycles in 2018 after it was formally licensed by LTA.

Progressively, its fleet dimension grew to 25,000 bicycles in 2019 after it acquired Mobike’s license for S$2.54 million.

mobike singaporePicture Credit score: Mobike

With Mobike’s plans to regulate the worldwide methods, SG Bike and Mobike felt that one of the simplest ways to safe the way forward for the prevailing 25,000 bicycles and guarantee a extremely ample bike-sharing scheme in Singapore was to amass its license for 25,000 bicycles.

We all the time appeared as much as Mobike because the gold customary of motorcycle sharing the world over, and rising to deal with a fleet dimension of 25,000 additionally meant that we’ve to uphold the requirements and do even higher.

– Benjamin Oh, co-founder of SG Bike

With the elevated fleet dimension, SG Bike stated that it stays dedicated to attach much more folks to their locations in a secure, inexpensive, and handy manner.

Past studying from Mobike’s finest practices, SG Bike additionally persistently works on bettering its providers, whereas factoring in new modifications in manpower and logistics constraints to tackle a bigger fleet dimension.

“We’re grateful for the belief and confidence that Mobike has for SG Bike to develop the bike sharing tradition and business, and can attempt in the direction of the nation’s progress for a car-lite society,” stated Benjamin.

Adapting And Adjusting To COVID-19

Throughout this COVID-19 interval, SG Bike has seen a rise in bicycle utilization following the rise of the estimated doubling of latest customers.

With the COVID-19 abroad journey restrictions in addition to work at home preparations, we’ve noticed an general enhance in utilization of our providers.

Some potential causes embody bicycles offering pure social distancing traits, in addition to elevated utilization for every day commutes, leisure utilization, and others reminiscent of for meals supply.

– Benjamin Oh, co-founder of SG Bike

Nonetheless, the pandemic additionally posed some downsides for his or her enterprise.

A number of the points confronted had been primarily operational and manpower restrictions, such because the lockdown and present office limitations which have impacted operational and logistics work on its bicycles.

Adapting to the pandemic, SG Bike has rolled out new features to assist be certain that their bicycles are sanitised and cleaned earlier than every deployment.

“Digitally, we’ve additionally created informational infographics to advise our customers to wash the principle touchpoints of our bicycles earlier than and after use,” stated Benjamin.

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“Regardless of the challenges, our groups are doing our greatest to make sure that our bicycles are in the most effective situation to serve our clients.”

Bridging Final-Mile Hole In Enterprise Districts Subsequent

sg bikePicture Credit score: SG Bike

Commenting on the bike-sharing panorama in Singapore, Benjamin stated that it has modified considerably — “from an ungoverned house the place it was “okay” to park “wherever”, to 1 the place LTA points licenses for bike sharing operators.”

Whereas some bike-sharing gamers reminiscent of ofo and oBike have witnessed a downfall, Benjamin feels that SG Bike’s strategy because the begin has all the time been totally different.

They began off with the need to serve the nation, and labored intently with related authorities like LTA, city councils and Nationwide Parks Board to make sure that their enterprise objectives are aligned with the transport design agenda.

We launched with a small fleet dimension to keep up monetary prudence whereas making certain sufficient bicycles to serve a small operational space. We additional tackle suggestions and work intently with customers and related stakeholders to grasp and enhance our providers.

This has allowed us to allocate sources extra effectively, which enabled us higher functionality to develop at a progressive charge to have the ability to deal with an elevated bicycle fleet dimension.

– Benjamin Oh, co-founder of SG Bike

Over the subsequent few years, SG Bike goals to succeed in a fleet of 100,000 bicycles to raised serve the nation because it progresses in the direction of a car-lite nation in 2040.

Past fleet growth, SG Bike will frequently discover the way it can introduce new providers, options and mobility gadgets to form and supply for an lively mobility way of life in Singapore.

Additionally it is engaged on securing partnerships with extra company companions, reminiscent of current ones with JTC and others, to encourage biking and shut the last-mile gaps in enterprise districts over the subsequent few years.

Benjamin can be excited that the federal government is ramping up the bicycle infrastructure in Singapore with growing numbers of yellow containers and bicycle racks.

That is on prime of the federal government’s plan to develop Singapore’s biking path community by 2023, which can enormously profit the bike-sharing business.

“We’re glad to see that the business is rising, and we’re excited to assist propel bike sharing as a viable transport mode for Singapore collectively,” stated Benjamin.

“The period of micro mobility has simply begun and is beginning to develop, and we’re excited to see our providers repeatedly remodel and develop to be a higher a part of a sustainable transport selection and way of life.”

Featured Picture Credit score: SG Bike

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