Environmentally Friendly: How to Use Singapore's Bike-Sharing Apps

Rows of oBikes | © Facebook/oBike Singapore
Rows of oBikes | © Facebook/oBike Singapore
Photo of Sadali Mawi
12 October 2018

If you enjoy the convenience and ease of cycling from one point to another without the hassle of caring for a bike, then bike sharing apps are perfect for you. In Singapore, there are mainly three types of bike sharing services: oBike, Mobike and Ofo. For the purpose of this article, we gave oBike a test to explore how simple and affordable it is to get on the bandwagon.

Getting Started

Using the oBike app is pretty easy and straightforward. Simply download them from Apple’s App Store or Play Store on Android and create a free account. Note that a security deposit fee is required for each account just in case there are any damages on the bicycles after your ride.

Once you have an account, simply spot an oBike and either key in the Bike ID number or scan the unique QR code to activate the bicycle. Your bicycle will automatically unlock following a beep and you’re all set to go. If you connect both your bluetooth and location services, the app will display your total distance, time, calories burnt, plus the amount of carbon you’ve helped save just by using the service! (pictured below)

Trip Summaru (left) / Ongoing Trips (right) | Image Courtesy of Sadali Mawi

Choosing The Right Bicycle

You will typically find the shareable bicycles parked at designated parking spots. However, before you do embark on your trip, be careful to check your bicycle for any physical damage like missing seats, handles and paddles, to torn seats and faulty bells. You may choose to report these damages and earn credits on your account, which can be used to offset the cost of subsequent rides.

oBike also comes in two sizes to accommodate people of different sizes, and you can choose to ride one with a basket to place your bag or go free and easy with a smaller, streamlined version instead.

Designated Bike Parking Areas in Singapore

Manual-Locking Mechanism To End Trips

When you have reached your destination, simply end the trip by pushing down a physical lever that will then lock the bicycle into place (pictured below). If you do forget to lock the bike, another rider could possibly go for a joy ride at your expense, so it’s best to avoid that.

If you are on a grocery run, you can reserve your bicycle for up to 10 minutes through the app, just to make sure you still have a ride back home, although this is unlikely as these bicycles are littered everywhere.

Simple locking mechanism on an Obike

Final Verdict

Whether you are looking to be more active daily or simply want to cut down your travelling time, these bike sharing apps are a perfect and low-cost option for many. While the bicycles themselves are sturdy and reliable, they can get a little heavy after prolonged use and don’t even think about speeding with these.

However, the quality and cost of these bikes should be palatable for many, unless you’re training for the Tour De France, of course.

Rows of oBikes | © Facebook/oBike Singapore

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