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Bangkok just got a station-less bike-sharing service

Is this the answer to your rush-hour woes?

By Kawee Jarach | May 18, 2017

  • Bangkok just got a station-less bike-sharing service
    Credit: oBike
  • Bangkok just got a station-less bike-sharing service
    Credit: oBike

Bangkok just welcomed its first station-less bike-sharing service, aiming to offer a more environmentally-friendly mode of urban transportation over short distances.

oBike, a new Singaporean start-up that's modeled on a Chinese-style bike-sharing system, operates as a mobile application (available on iOs and Android) that helps you locate any number of bright yellow bicycles parked at spots all around Bangkok. 

Aimed at assisting with short-distance commutes, the service requires that users pay a deposit of B899 via credit card. The bicycles can be unlocked and locked by scanning a QR code, with usage charged at B10 per 15 minutes.

Currently the scheme is in its trial stage, with a limited number of bikes seen parked near BTS Asoke, MRT Silom and Lumphini Park, and Chulalongkorn University—areas in close proximity to public transportation. These numbers will be increased if the public response is positive. 

While Bangkok's year-round hot weather, hectic traffic and inconsistent road conditions are seen as impediments to urban biking, the concept of bike-sharing is nothing new here.

Since 2009, Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) has made several attempts to popularize bike-sharing system. The current Pun Pun Bicycle Sharing System, launched in 2013, has received a mixed response. Unlike oBike, Pun Pun's bicycles are only available at designated stations found at some 50 locations around Bangkok. 

Will the oBike scheme succeed where Pun Pun has fallen short? Will it face the wrath of regulation like Grab or Uber? If you've tried the new service, drop us a line at editorial@asia-city.co.th. 

 
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