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Sport and Outdoors

Uber rival brings bike-sharing operators under one app

Grab, a ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia, is following in the footsteps of a Chinese Uber slayer to launch a platform hosting multiple bike-sharing companies.

grabcycle-01

Users in Singapore now have access to bikes and e-scooters from four partner operators via GrabCycle, a platform launched by ride-hailing company, Grab.

Grab

There are too many bike-sharing companies on the streets, but one Uber rival has a plan to reign them in.

In Singapore, ride-hailing company Grab has launched an app that gives users access to shared bikes and e-scooters, it announced Friday morning.

Called GrabCycle, the beta app lets users locate all nearby personal mobility devices such as bikes and e-scooters from various operators using just one app. For now, Grab has partnered four operators, namely oBike, GBikes, Anywheel and Popscoot.

It works no differently from other bike-sharing apps too. To use, users are required to scan a code to unlock a bike to ride it, then park and lock it at any bike park at the end of a trip. Payment will be done via GrabPay Credits, the company's cashless stored value feature.  

While bike-sharing is great for first- and last- mile travel, it's a problem when there are no bikes near you belonging to the company of the app you've downloaded. And in places like China where a glut of bike companies have popped up, it's just not feasible to download all the apps onto your phone just so you can grab and use any bike you see on the streets. That's why putting them all in one place makes things much more convenient. 

Grab isn't the first ride-hailing service to have thought of such a solution. Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing announced a similar move in China in January, saying it will host bike-sharing partners such as Bluegogo and Ofo on a "multi-brand bike-sharing platform" within its app.

GrabCycle is not yet available for download, but it will eventually roll out island-wide "by the first half of this year," said Reuben Lai, Grab's head of GrabVentures. GrabVentures is Grab's innovation lab which tests new concepts, and under which GrabCycle was born.

Lai added that bringing the service to other markets in Southeast Asia is also a possibility: "Our focus is to test it out to make sure we get it right here and if consumers love it, then there's nothing stopping us from continuing to expand throughout Southeast Asia."

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