Scoot don't bike
Uncontrolled bike sharing initiatives created havoc in Singapore, but that isn’t stopping the city state from giving the green light to scooters. Asian start-up Beam is now planning to launch its Segway-built two-wheelers in Singapore on the back of the massive take-up of scooter services from the likes of providers such as Lime in US cities.
In typical gung ho start-up fashion, Beam says it wants to ‘change the fundamental way that people move around’ in Asian cities. The company is headed by the former head of bike-sharing outfit Ofo’s Asia Pacific operations, who was also previously Uber’s country manager in Indonesia.
But as the scooters get traction, so the number of bikes is being drastically cut. The Singapore transport authority is issuing licences to six sharing operators for a combined fleet size of 55,500 bicycles, which is half the previous total on the streets.
“While bicycle-sharing services provide a convenient and healthy option for first-and-last mile journeys, rapid growth in the number of bicycles has also led to rampant indiscriminate parking of bicycles which creates safety issues and degrades our living environment,” says the regulator.