MBPJ has seized bicycles belonging to bike-sharing service oBike. The city council says that this is because oBike does not have a license to operate in such a manner, and that the bicycles left out in the open are obstructing foot traffic.
oBike is a service that allows people to rent bicycles for short range travel. Bookings are done using an app, which also unlocks the bikes. Trips are charged at a rate of RM1 for every 15 minutes, with most of the users being students who cannot afford ridesharing services or their own transport.
Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain says that oBike is effectively running an illegal operation in Petaling Jaya as the company has not applied for a license to place its bicycles along streets. However, he also admits that there are no proper regulations to deal with this sort of matter; but the council would be willing to draw them up to accommodate the bike-sharing business.
Curiously, oBike has permission to operate in Subang Jaya. The Subang Jaya Municipal Council issued an approval letter to the company after it submitted an application. According to oBike marketing manager Elaine Chan, the procedures for each local authority are different.
For now, oBike is aware of the situation and has said that it is working with the MBPJ to resolve the matter. That said, it looks like there will be fewer orange bicycles lining the sidewalks for the time being.
[Source: The Star]