Zaibike

Zaibike’s fleet manager Chok Xin Lin (left), 21, and its CEO Lee Jun Xiang, 23, riding on campus on two of their nine bicycles available for rent.ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

It takes 15 minutes to walk the 1km from the Expo MRT station to the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

There are no shuttle buses to campus, and the unsheltered walk is hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.

Fed up with the trek, a group of final-year SUTD students launched trials last month for a bicycle-sharing programme that will allow students to rent a bike at the MRT station and ride to campus.

“I’ve always cycled to and from the station, and it takes only five minutes,” said undergraduate Lee Jun Xiang, 23, who lives on campus.

He helms ZaiBike, a bike-sharing scheme two years in the making, which he runs with eight other final-year students at the university.

The users scan a QR code on the bike with their smartphone, which gives them a security code to unlock the bike with. After they ride to campus, they can lock the bike at any of seven racks there.

But ZaiBike differs from other bike-sharing models in that specialised docking stations – that lock and rent out the bikes – are not needed.

The group has received a $20,000 grant from the university’s research and development centre, and is trying to raise money to buy 30 custom bicycles.

Mr Lee said his team is in the process of designing a modular device that will be able to track the bicycles, lock them and deter would-be thieves.

Read more on Straits Times.