Singapore-based bicycle-sharing startup, oBike, has exported its service to Malaysia. Started only in January 2017 in Singapore, it launched its Malaysia venture in late April.
According to a report, oBike is here as an option for short distance travel and is available in Bandar Sunway, Kota Damansara, Mutiara Damansara and Damansara Perdana. The latest sighting is in the SS2 commercial area in Petaling Jaya.
oBike is a station-less service which means you can engage the service, via a downloaded app, cycle to your destination and leave the bicycle locked in any designated bicycle parking spot. For example, you can unlock a bicycle in SS2, cycle it to the Taman Bahagia LRT and park it at a bicycle parking spot there. You can also search for a bicycle in advance and place a reservation.
As with any type of ride-sharing app, registration is necessary but there is a fully refundable deposit to be made the first time (RM 109 for regular users and RM 49 for students). The cost of usage is RM 1 per 15 minutes.
As Malaysians become more used to ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, as well as recreational cycling, perhaps this is one solution to reduce traffic congestion in commercial areas as you can park further away and cycle to your destination. In theory this should cut down the number of cars circling a commercial square for half an hour looking for the nearest parking spot.
There are hurdles, of course, with the (sometimes) extreme weather, lack of proper sidewalks and cycling lanes being the major ones but oftentimes it’s a chicken-and-egg issue. With more people taking up cycling now, we are already seeing more roads marked with dedicated bicycle lanes so there’s a chance commercial areas will become more bicycle-friendly in the future. Plus it’s an affordable way to get some exercise.
You can find more information of this service here: https://www.o.bike/