Like finding curly tufts of hair in a plate of soft-boiled eggs, the shared electric scooters available for rent across town aren’t even supposed to be there. To date, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has impounded 42 personal mobility devices (PMDs) owned by e-scooter sharing operators Neuron Mobility, Telepod and Beam.
Beam, in particular, does not even have a license to run a PMD-sharing service here. According to LTA, a Beam e-scooter was found available for hire at Bugis MRT station despite the company’s lack of a permit to do so, on top of prior notices of regulatory requirements.
As for Neuron Mobility and Telepod, both firms are only licensed to provide PMD-sharing services in the vicinity of one-north, and nowhere else outside the specified boundaries. Still, 26 Neuron Mobility e-scooters and 15 Telepod e-scooters were found scattered in the city, including Bencoolen Street and Bayfront Avenue.
“LTA is disappointed that Neuron Mobility, Telepod, and Beam have deployed their PMDs illegally on public land, despite LTA’s repeated reminders and warnings between July to October 2018,” the authority noted in a statement.
Understandably, Neuron Mobility and Telepod have no control over users cruising on their e-scooters beyond the one-north borders. Presumably, LTA’s issue is that the operators didn’t have a tighter rein over their e-scooters, and would very much like the companies to be stricter with the service’s availability.
The licensing regime established by LTA imposes conditions such as maximum fleet size and requiring licensed operators to enact measures that will ensure users practice responsible parking. Under the Parking Places Act, it is an offense to provide device-sharing services at public places without a license or exemption. Unlicensed operators can be fined up to $10,000 and/or face a jail term of up to six months; and a further fine of $500 per day that the offense continues after conviction.
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