Kenneth Lim Channel NewsAsia 28 Jul 16;
SINGAPORE: A self-service bicycle scheme will be piloted in the Jurong Lake District (JLD) by the end of 2017, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a media release on Thursday (Jul 28).
The scheme, which will encompass more than 1,000 bicycles and 100 docking stations, will allow members of the public access to a bicycle around the clock. They can pick up the bicycles at any self-service docking station and return it to a station within the system's service area, LTA said.
The stations are spaced about 400m apart, and will allow residents to make short trips from their homes to nearby MRT stations and bus interchanges, where they can return the bicycle and continue their journeys on public transport.
LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: “We believe this will catalyse take-up of cycling as it provides a convenient and healthy way to commute between homes, nearby amenities and the MRT stations.
"Through the pilot, we will study the scheme’s feasibility and determine if and how it can be extended to other residential towns as well,” Mr Chew added.
SCHEME MAY EXTEND TO MARINA BAY, TAMPINES AND PASIR RIS
LTA said they will call a tender to appoint an operator who will own, build, operate and maintain the pilot bicycle-sharing scheme in JLD for eight years, with options to bid to operate a bicycle-sharing scheme in Marina Bay/City Centre as well as Tampines and Pasir Ris.
This means there will potentially be around 2,300 bicycles and 230 docking stations in total across the three locations, LTA said.
A STEP FORWARD
For members of the local cycling community, the scheme is miles apart from previous attempts at fostering a bicycle sharing culture in Singapore, including the 12-bicycle strong Isuda scheme in 2012.
"The biggest difference is the scale of the implementation of the proposal,” said co-founder of cycling interest group Love Cycling SG Woon Taiwoon, who helped raise awareness of Isuda among the community.
“It allows a very big spectrum of people to use the facilities. This is a very good step forward, that the bicycle is not regarded as a purely recreational item."
But ultimately, it will still take time to foster a bicycle-sharing culture in Singapore, Mr Woon said.
"The design needs to be robust, needs to be temper-proof," he said. "Over the last few years a lot of good has happened.
"I think we need to give it time, time for the infrastructure, time for people to also accept cycling as a mode of transport."
APPOINTING OPERATOR AND SPONSORSHIP CONSULTANT
To defray some of the costs involved in setting up and operating the bicycle-sharing pilot in JLD, LTA said they will provide a grant. The potential operators will bid for a fixed grant they need in each year of the contract.
Besides appointing an operator for the bicycle-sharing scheme, LTA will also call a tender to appoint a sponsorship consultant. LTA will work with the consultant to engage suitable sponsors, who will get naming and advertising rights to the bicycle-sharing system, similar to other bicycle-sharing systems in overseas cities such as Citibike in New York and Santander Cycle in London.
The bicycle-sharing scheme complements existing efforts to facilitate cycling and to improve first-and-last-mile connectivity to public transport nodes and key amenities, LTA said.
Under the National Cycling Plan, more than 700km of cycling paths will be provided islandwide by 2030.
Bike-sharing scheme could extend to Tampines, Pasir Ris, Marina Bay and city centre
TAN WEIZHEN Today Online 28 Jul 16;
SINGAPORE — Two more areas — Tampines-Pasir Ris as well as Marina Bay with the city centre — have been identified as possible locations for a bike-sharing pilot scheme to extend to.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) revealed this on Thursday (July 28) as they gave details of the tender they will call on Friday for an operator to own, build, operate and maintain a 1,000-bicycle-sharing system with 100 docking stations in the Jurong Lake District for eight years, starting end next year.
Bidders for this tender will also have to propose plans to expand the bike-sharing scheme to Marina Bay and the city centre, and to Tampines-Pasir Ris as well. If the system is launched in all three areas, the total number of bicycles in the scheme is estimated to rise to about 2,300, with around 230 docking stations.
To defray part of the costs of setting up and operating the pilot in Jurong Lake District, the LTA will provide a grant. Potential operators will have to bid for a fixed amount of grant they need each year of the contract. However, money from private sponsors are expected to partially fund the operations.
Another tender will be called on Friday to appoint a consultant that will engage suitable sponsors who will be entitled to naming and advertising rights to the bicycle-sharing system.
Plans for the bike-sharing pilot at Jurong Lake District, which will run 24/7, were announced by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan last week.
How much it will cost to use the bicycles will be decided by the operator, said the LTA on Thursday. In some cities, commuters get to ride free for the first 30 minutes, while others operate on a system of a monthly or annual pass.
In New York, for instance, an annual membership costs US$155 (S$210), while a monthly one is US$14.95. A 24-hour pass costs US$9.95.
The tender will stipulate that operators should accept payment through EZ-link or debit and credit cards.
On how the LTA would decide whether to expand the scheme, a spokesperson said: “We will look at the quality proposals submitted by the tenderers to see if (they) have taken into account the unique characteristics of the respective districts. We will also look at the financial proposals to assess the extent of economies of scale that can potentially be reaped in the respective options.
“Concurrently, we will evaluate the level of sponsorship interest before eventually deciding which option to choose.”
Jurong Lake District was chosen for the pilot because it is set to be re-developed into Singapore’s second Central Business District, said the LTA on Thursday. The authority’s considerations for expanding to the two new areas would be different, added a spokesperson.
Tampines and Pasir Ris, as mixed residential, industrial and commercial-use towns, should see higher frequency of trips during certain hours as commuters may use the bicycles to commute to and from work or to run errands.
In contrast, usage is expected to be spread out throughout the day in the city centre and Marina Bay, partially because there are key tourist attractions there.
“This will expand the parts of the city one can access quickly and easily ... for both tourists and Singaporeans to explore the sights of the city. This may hence translate to less frequent but longer bicycle-sharing trips,” said the LTA spokesperson.
“Usage may also be more consistent during the weekends or even in the wee hours as recreational night-cycling becomes increasingly popular or when public transport services are not available late at night,” the spokesperson added.
As part of the planning process, the public will be consulted on where pick-up and drop-off points for the bikes should be.
Kenneth Lim Channel NewsAsia 28 Jul 16;