Bike-sharing is the buzzword of the moment among Singaporeans.
Now, you can never go a day without seeing someone on the yellow or orange bikes from the three major bike sharing companies.
One of the companies, Mobike, just celebrated their 100th day in their first-ever foreign market since starting operations in Singapore on March 21.
100 Days Of Mobike In Singapore
After ofo, Mobike has now officially joined the 100 days club.
From a mere 100 of their bright orange bikes back in March, they now have more than 10,000 in circulation around Singapore.
Working closely with the relevant authorities, Mobike was the first bike-sharing company to get their own lots in public spaces. Called the MPL (Mobike Preferred Locations), they can be found around MRT stations, schools, housing estates, and outside of malls and offices.
Its introduction has vastly helped to transform the last mile mode of transportation landscape in the country, and Mobike counts itself lucky to not have made the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Also announced was a newly-minted partnership with Mastercard.
Florian Bohnert, Head of International Expansion of Mobike and Benjamin Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard signed a memorandum of understanding to bring the two companies together.
The first clear sign of this agreement will come with Masterpass integration into the Mobike app to enable riders to have a seamless transaction whenever they unlock a bike.
Outside of just a secure means for in-app payments, both companies will also share insights into the way urban residents travel, and enable local city planners to examine Singapore's transportation systems and how they can be made smarter and more flexible.
We're Getting A New (Mo)bike
As part of the celebrations, Mobike also launched a new and improved bike that riders can look forward to.
The familiar orange bikes will still be in designated parking lots ready to welcome you, but they've received a much needed upgrade.
The first major upgrade that we can see is the inclusion of a Shimano gear system that lets you shift between 3 gears for a better ride.
The lack of a gear system was a major gripe with hardcore riders.
Next, Mobike also addressed another of their rider's major complaints - the lack of a height adjustable seat.
Version two will get precisely that, and with this new seat, will let riders of all heights have a more comfortable ride.
Lastly, we will be getting a better brighter front lamp.
Mobike Is A "Technology Company"
Much like how Grab and Uber position themselves as a technology company first, Mobike sees themselves in the same light.
That's because at the heart of the Mobike operations is their in-house Artificial Intelligence platform named "Magic Cube". The AI has a presence in everything from the app that riders use to unlock a bike, to the bicycles themselves.
As you know, Mobike boasts the first GPS-enabled bikes among its competitors.
Mobike has the world's largest mobile-enabled IOT network in the transportation industry, and the bikes are a major part of it. With it, they are able to track each and every bike in real time, with a high degree of accuracy thanks to geo-fencing.
They are also able to monitor the health and location of the bike at all times to better anticipate and address user demands, and solve common
Mobike views Singapore as the perfect bridge between the east and the west, so much so that whatever was learnt by the company here would be used in future expansions.
This can be seen in their recent market entry in Manchester, England just last week. This is the first time that Mobike has entered a market outside of Asia, and this is just the first step of bringing it across Europe.
Earlier in June, the bike-sharing company established Mobike Japan, bringing their services to the city of Fukuoka and Sapporo.
Right now, Mobike has 5 million bikes in circulation across 130 cities globally and 100 million users. Up until today, riders have made 700 million trips on Mobike.
Improved Rewards And Free Rides In July
Mobike has always had a merit and demerit system in place since inception (unlike their rivals) and in doing so, they have a wealth of experience on how to reward (or punish riders).
The 'bad behaviour' by riders are pretty much well-documented by now, and Mobike has a demerit system that ranges from lenient charges such as increased fares, up until the maximum punishment of an account ban.
Good behaviours are rewarded with coupons that riders can redeem, but Mobike is taking it a step further. Along with the new bikes, Mobike will be rolling out a new red packet and treasure box feature.
One condition to get these rewards is if you return the bike you rode to an MPL. The company has not yet revealed what kind of rewards would be able, and possible partnerships with retailers have been mooted among other things.
Lastly, as part of the 100-day celebrations, Mobike will also be giving away free rides for the month of July.
Bike-sharing has definitely grabbed the spotlight in the last few months, and Mobike has so far been getting positive reviews minus the bad press, and it has been to their advantage as they seek to expand worldwide.