Malaysia's first stationless bike-sharing platform aims to foster a greener lifestyle.
If you've ever visited or seen scenes of London, Amsterdam, Berlin, or any developed European country, you've probably seen people cycling not just for exercise but to get from point to point. But, you may not have noticed that not all of these bicycles are owned by the cyclists. In London, residents can loan a bike by tapping their bank card on a reader to obtain a code, which will release the bicycle from its docking station. Once you're done with it, just return it to the nearest docking station. This bike-sharing system that's popular overseas is the model for oBike, which aims to help Malaysians cultivate a greener lifestyle by encouraging the use of public transport and bicycles.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
oBike started their venture in Singapore in January 2017, and in February 2017, they had 1,000 oBike bicycles around Singapore. After four months, they decided to roll out the bike-sharing platform here in Malaysia. You may have spotted a row of yellow bikes parked in front of MRT or LRT stations, shopping malls, colleges and universities. Many who commute using public transport on a daily basis would find it convenient to cycle to their destination that's some distance away from the nearest stop, and it's also a good alternative for those who want to get around easily without spending too much. oBike's mission is to provide an efficient and sustainable mode of transportation for the public, which in turn would save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emission globally.
HOW TO USE IT
You'll have to download the oBike app, which is available for Android and iOS phones. Once you've set up an account, make a deposit with a debit or credit card to have virtual currency – like how prepaid SIM cards work, your credit will be deducted as you cycle. You can only unlock a bike using the app's QR code scanner. Once you're near your destination, locate the nearest designated parking area, park it, and then lock the bike manually. It'll only cost you RM1 for every 15 minutes of cycling.
WHO SHOULD USE IT
As it may be a little dangerous to ride the bikes along busy highways, children should always be accompanied by an adult. Because concrete bike paths are sorely lacking around Malaysia, make sure you map out your route beforehand as a safety precaution. Alternatively, if you wish to cycle for fun and to stay fit, a you could use the oBike bicycles at parks with your family – the nearest docking stations are shown in the app.