Bicycle sharing company Mobike has begun operations in Malaysia. The company is attempting to differentiate itself from the competition by using purpose built bicycles. At the moment, Mobike is starting with small scale test markets in a partnership with SP Setia.
Mobike bicycles basically resemble traditional bikes, although they use modern design techniques to achieve maximum durability. These include threading all the break cables through the frame of the bike to reduce the chance of breakage, and replacing the chain with an car-like drive train.
The bikes also contain GPS tracking systems to allow Mobike to constantly monitor their location, along with mobile data for status updates. This not only allows the team to keep up to date on the status of their bikes, but also doubles as a deterrent against theft. In the event that people do attempt to keep the bike, Mobike is able to track its location and retrieve it. Something that it has had to do in other markets where it operates.
Booking a Mobike ride involves downloading the app and first paying a RM99 refundable deposit. After then, the rider can unlock bikes by scanning the QR code located on either the front or rear of the bike. Trips are charged RM1.50 for every half hour.
For now, Mobike is only operating in Setia Alam and Setia Eco Park. The plan is to further expand into the Klang Valley, but the company is content to move slowly in order to maintain maximum utilisation of its existing bicycles.