Netizens are urging the Singapore Government to kill new personal mobility device (PMD) rental startup, Beam, before they begin operations here.
Having raised nearly SGD $9 million from investors, the Singapore-based start-up announced this past Tuesday that it will roll out its PMD rental services here “within the next few weeks” – until the Land Transport Authority (LTA) revealed in a statement yesterday evening that Beam cannot begin operations until it obtains a license to do so:
“We would like to remind all interested companies that it is an offence to operate a device-sharing service at public places without a licence.”
Throwing a wrench into Beam’s plans, the LTA clarified that the earliest Beam can launch its pmd-sharing service here is next year since the next licence application exercise is set to take place in January 2019.
Unlicensed operators risk being fined up to $10,000 and/or a maximum six months jail term with an additional $500 per day if they continue operations after conviction.
While e-scooter sharing services like Telepod and Neuron Mobility already operate here, these companies are exempt from licensing requirement since they only operate within the boundaries of specific properties they have partnered with.
Netizens, however, have urged the authorities to bar Beam from operating here at all, given the disturbing spate of accidents involving e-scooters and other mobility devices here in recent years:
Gary Ong: “Please kill it before it even starts”
Adrian Oei: “I suggest LTA should not encourage this. It’s already a nuisance. People have 2 legs, so walk.”
Judy Kg: “LTA, please stop issuing licence for e-scooter! Surely you are aware of the problems generated by some users! No matter what punishment that is meted out to the offenders in the misuse, the victims are the ones to suffer! You are encouraging people especially the young ones to become lazy by not walking! And the govt is asking people to exercise!”
Wong Charmaine: “Public nuisance! We don’t want it! I just encountered earlier today two young adults on ONE escooter zipping on the road without regard to traffic rules didnt even know they need to stop at exit minor road”
Peter Tan: “Please lah. The current situation is already so messed up. Still wanna add one more? Panadol too much izzit? Hospital too much beds izzit?
“If someone kachao the electronics and battery, is LTA going to be responsible? What if people throw escooters into canals? Will water corrodes the battery and cause problems?Always think about car lite KPIs? What about public safety?”
Klim Desantos: “What is the purpose, more injury will occur. Or maybe the e-scooter can lock it speed at 10km/h. Don’t keep think of earning Money only.”
Catherine Chung: “Agree! Land Transport Authority PLEASE don’t approve any PMDs sharing service in public areas. Individual owners are already creating much disgrant among the ppl here. E-scooters are going to be worse than eBikes. Don’t wait till public uproar then regret.”
Kian Hing Liao: “Our narrow path and walkway are still no ready to cater for these mass input of PMDs. I will foresee more accidents and injuries when implemented.”
Fand Zee: “Another bike sharing nightmare= scooter sharing nightmare waiting for more accidents to happen. Here you restrict pmd there you create new opportunities for more revenue. Interesting leaders lol”
WhenChien Cheng: “STOP e-PMDs’ or any PMDs’ on the road or walkways or anywhere else! Its a nuisance and more accidents waiting to happen. STOP IT! BAN IT”
Patrick Chng: “In Singapore do we have a say on National project? Approved or not what our Government and Minister job. But what those MP point of view?”
郭 ケニ: “Disastrous…. just imagine constant flow of PMDs on our walkways”
Anngela Wan: “Haven’t done enough stress and damage to the public?”
Tony Boey: “Why have we become so heartless to our old and very young?”
Maria Seow: “Can we citizens say no to it? Pls LTA have a thought for us n let us walk with peace. Thanks you”
Last month, PAP parliamentarian Dr Lee Bee Wah took transport authorities to task in Parliament for their lack of foresight in pushing for a car-lite society without considering the limited infrastructure that is presently available to support other forms of transport.
Dr Lee was specifically speaking about the “new” personal mobility device (PMD) form of transport, which she said has created “a new set of problems” for Singapore due to the “lack of civic-mindedness” of PMD users and a “lack of strategic and forward planning” on the part of transport authorities.
The Nee Soon GRC MP asked if the authorities are being too hasty to push a car-lite culture stressing less reliance on petrol or diesel-fueled vehicles as she pointed out that a lack of foresight has caused the authorities to play catch-up when reckless PMD users endanger pedestrians.
Claiming that “many residents tell me it is no longer safe to walk in Singapore,” Dr Lee asserted: “It is the lack of strategic and forward planning on the part of transport authorities in allowing the owners of these personal mobility devices free reign to public pathways and pedestrian walkways.”
Dr Lee further criticised the Government for not considering public safety before allowing PMD users “free reign”:
“We should have thought of safety long before these 20 to 40kg missiles go crashing into innocent pedestrians. Now we are constantly playing catch-up though I would say it is better than turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to the public outcry against those who use their PMDs recklessly.”