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Oral Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Lam Pin Min to Parliamentary Question on Licensing Framework for Bicycle-sharing Operators

18 Feb 2019 In Parliament

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira asked the Minister for Transport

a.     whether the Government takes into account a shared bicycle operator's ability to meet financial obligations to staff, vendors and the public when considering licensing status;

b.     when a licence is cancelled, whether any monies from security deposits and licence fees are made available for claims by vendors, employees and the general public;

c.     if so, what order or process shall apply to determine claim entitlements.

Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Lam Pin Min:

1.     The Land Transport Authority (LTA) requires applicants for full bicycle sharing licences to submit audited financial statements for review, and considers their financial standing when granting licences.

2.     The licensing framework for bicycle-sharing operators focuses on regulating the indiscriminate parking of shared dockless bicycles. The licence fees which LTA collects from the operators are meant to cover regulatory costs, so that these costs are not passed on to taxpayers. The use of the security deposits is restricted to specific circumstances stated in the Parking Places Act. These are: serving as surety for an operator’s compliance with licence conditions or standards of performance, meeting any unpaid financial penalties imposed on an operator, and recovering the costs incurred by LTA in removing and disposing of bicycles should an operator fail to do so after its licence has been cancelled. If none of these circumstances arise, LTA will not make a claim on the security deposit.

3.     While the security deposit and licence fees may not be used to repay private debts, vendors, employees, companies and consumers who are owed monies by the operators have other recourse. Companies and consumers with claims against any operator can seek redress through the civil courts, while employees can also approach the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management for assistance to resolve their salary disputes.