Bicycle-sharing operators will have to apply for a license starting from next Tuesday (8 May) and meet conditions including maximum fleet size as part of measures by the government to tackle indiscriminate parking by users of such services.
In a statement on Friday (4 May), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said existing operators who fail to submit an application by the 7 July deadline will have to cease operations immediately.
Any unlicensed operator that runs shared bicycles may face a jail term of up to six months and/or a maximum fine of $10,000, plus a $500 fine for each day that the offence continues.
The licensing framework comes after the Parking Places (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament in March.
LTA will consider applications based on the ability of an operator to manage indiscriminate parking by its users, its fleet utilisation rate, and other relevant factors such as demand for the service and availability of parking spaces.
Licensed operators can provide their service in public spaces for up to two years.
Under the framework, operators will have to meet conditions on their maximum fleet size. “Given the scale of the indiscriminate parking problem today, LTA will take a more conservative approach in setting the fleet sizes,” LTA said.
Licensed operators which can control indiscriminate parking and ensure good bicycle utilisation will be allowed to grow their fleets, LTA added.
LTA will impose penalties against operators for breaches of license conditions such as reducing their fleet size, imposing fines of up to $100,000 for each instance of non-compliance, and suspension or revocation of licence.
In addition, operators are required to ensure their users practise responsible parking.
Users have to scan the unique QR code at a parking location to show proper parking of bicycles before they can end their trip. Operators have to continuously charge users who park indiscriminately until they return the shared bicycle to a designated parking space.
Recalcitrant users will face a collective ban by operators, which will be required to share data on such users with each other.
A user who has parked indiscriminately at least three times in a calendar year will be banned for up to one year from using all bicycle-sharing services.