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Obike

The meaning of «obike»

oBike was a Singapore-registered stationless bicycle-sharing system started by businessmen Shi Yi and Edward Chen with operations in several countries. The bikes have a built-in Bluetooth lock and can therefore be left anywhere at the end of a journey, not just at a docking station. Users use a smartphone app to locate and hire bikes. It launched in Singapore in February 2017, and ceased operation on 25 June 2018 in Singapore. Subsequently, the parent company filed for insolvency in its home market. Before it withdrew from Singapore, it transferred the deposits owed to the Singapore users to its sister company in China. They are currently under investigation for fraud by the Singapore Police Force.[3][4][5][6] The effect on operations outside of Singapore is unknown.[7]

The firm had expanded to 24 countries including Australia, Korea, Malaysia,Thailand, Taiwan, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom.[8][9]

The bicycles are single speed with a plastic chainguard, short mudguards on both wheels, front and rear rim brakes, and dynamo electric lights.

To make use of the system, one must download the oBike application, register and pay a deposit. The App is used to rent and return the bicycles and users are charged by 15 or 30 minutes, with payment charged to their Credit/Debit card. To ride bikes, users must have an internet connection and Bluetooth enabled on their mobile device to enable unlocking of their desired oBike, which is done by scanning the QR code or entering the corresponding bicycle number. If successful, the lock on the rear wheel opens automatically. Once users finish their ride, they need to manually lock and leave the bike in any parking spot to be ready for the next user. At the time of locking the bike, the user must again ensure they have a Bluetooth and an internet connection, in order for the oBike system to record the end of the ride and correctly calculate the hire charge. If violations are reported, a credit system penalizes the corresponding user after a certain number of times, and in extreme cases, the user could be suspended from the platform. At the beginning of 2018 oBike entered into a partnership with TRON. In addition customers of oBike can use the app to pay with the Cryptocurrency ″oCoin″ in future.[10]

When oBike first started its operations in Singapore, 1,000 oBike bicycles were rolled out across the city.[11] One month later, the Singapore Land Transport Authority rolled out bicycle parking zones in seven areas and in April, the company officially launched. Tampines Town Council is their partner for the Ride and Roll programme.[12][13]

On 25 June 2018, oBike announced that they were exiting the Singaporean market as they are unable to meet new legislation addressing indiscriminate parking of bikes.[14] Under the new rules set by LTA, operators will have to pay a S$30 licensing fee and a S$30 security deposit for every bicycle they deploy and a S$1,500 one-time application fee.[15]

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