The island of Singapore is getting a whole lot more pedal power.
One of China’s most aggressive bike-sharing companies, ofo, has launched 1,000 bikes in Singapore over the weekend, the Straits Times reported.
With this, it’s joined another recent entrant into Singapore, fellow Chinese bike startup, oBike, which plans to bring in "tens of thousands" of bikes by the middle of the year.
Image: Sean lim/Facebook
Ofo and oBike’s near tandem launch comes ahead of a large government bike-sharing project, which is calling for thousands of bikes to be laid out across the city.
13 companies reportedly put in bids for the nationwide project, including Paris’ Velib, Taipei’s YouBike and Shanghai’s Mobike.
Many of these providers, including Ofo, oBike and Mobike, are stationless, which means users don’t need to return them to a designated station. You just lock them by the side of the street and walk away.
The government’s planned bike-sharing project has laid out plans for some 230 self-service docking stations across the island, but that could change depending on who wins the tender.
For now, oBikes require a deposit of SGD $49 ($34.55), and trips cost SGD $1 ($0.70) every 30 minutes, while ofo bikes cost SGD $0.50 ($0.35) per trip.
Singapore is slowly moving towards a more bike-friendly city, although much work remains to be done. The city is expected to build more than 700km (434 miles) of cycling paths and park connectors in the future.
Still, cycling is not allowed on footpaths, and cyclists have to travel on the road, without any bicycle lanes.
In launching ahead of Mobike, ofo and oBike have quickly overtaken the Chinese player, which came into the market last year with a splash. Mobike said it had plans to start beta testing here by end-2016, but has yet to begin.
In a statement sent to the press on Monday, Mobike reiterated that it plans to launch its service properly in the first quarter of 2017.
Mashable has reached out to ofo, oBike, Mobike and the Land Transport Authority for additional comment.