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Controversial Bike Sharing Service oBike Will Disappear from Singapore's Streets

This follows the company's exit from Melbourne earlier this month.
By Samantha Teague
June 26, 2018
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Controversial Bike Sharing Service oBike Will Disappear from Singapore's Streets

This follows the company's exit from Melbourne earlier this month.
By Samantha Teague
June 26, 2018
  shares

It has not been a good month for controversial bike sharing service oBike. First, it was announced that the ill-fated bikes were vanishing off the streets of Melbourne. Now, the Singapore-based company has announced via Facebook and its app it will no longer be Singapore-based, stopping operations in the city on Monday, June 25, 2018.

oBike was launched in Singapore a little over a year ago — in January 2017 — but faced difficulties meeting the requirements of the city's Land Transport Council. The council passed new laws in March 2018 requiring bike-sharing operators to register for new licences that regulated fleet size.

Regulations were the reason the service pulled out of Melbourne, too, as the company was unable to comply with new guidelines imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, in which abandoned bikes blocking streets for more than two hours would prompt $3000 fines.

There are also reports flooding social media that oBike is refusing to return deposits ($49 in Singapore and $69 in Australia), with some users saying the refund button has disappeared altogether and others saying that the deposits have been converted into subscriptions.

If this affects you, a Consumer Affairs Victoria spokesperson recommends "consumers should first contact the business to seek a resolution. If the business does not resolve the issue, and a credit card was used for payment, the consumer can contact their bank or credit card provider for a chargeback."

There's no word yet on whether the infamous yellow bikes will be leaving Sydney, with the oBike's recent announcement stating, "this decision will not affect oBike's operations in anyway in countries outside of Singapore".

The company is still promoting its new rewards for parking responsibly and in designated parking spots in Sydney via Facebook.

We'll continue to update the story as further announcements are made.

Published on June 26, 2018 by Samantha Teague

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