Traffic jams led to Telepod
Co-founder's experiences in KL prompted her to start e-scooter-sharing service here
As a child, she had to wake up early and walk for over half an hour to get to school because of poor traffic conditions.
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Ms Gan Jin Ni, 27, saw gaps in the transportation system and wanted to improve it.
Now the co-founder of Telepod, Singapore's first e-scooter-sharing service, Ms Gan has done just that.
She told The New Paper at Telepod's launch at Suntec City Convention Centre yesterday: "Growing up, I noticed that trains and buses were not well connected and the roads were always jammed.
"And even though places like school were not far, it was still a long walk."
This was how the idea for Telepod was born.
Ms Gan later studied at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) where she met co-founder Louis Goh, 27.
On shared bicycles being stolen, discarded and dumped, Mr Goh said: "There is a lot for us to take away and lessons to be learnt from the problems the bicycle-sharing companies are facing.
"When we first started up, we were thinking about whether to adopt a completely free-floating system or a docking station system.
"We managed to find a sweet spot in between, which is the dockless system with designated parking zones."
When the company did a two-day trial run at Woodlands for Republic Polytechnic students in August last year, they offered 15 e-scooters for rent.
Over the two days, they were rented 202 times.
Mr Goh said the response was so overwhelming the e-scooters' batteries could not be recharged in time.
Now, battery levels are monitored remotely and staff will have fully charged batteries on standby.
Engineer Darren Tee, 27, a Telepod customer, said: "I think Telepod is good for working adults who need to travel to the office because e-scooters require little effort to operate."
The company is working with SMRT and NTU to offer 100 e-scooters in the university by October.
Ms Gan said: "We will start with industrial parks and schools first, before expanding the network outwards.
"We are also keen on working in the Central Business District, which is why Suntec City is a good start."
She added the company plans to offer 3,000 e-scooters for rent by the end of next year.
The e-scooters can be rented via the free Telepod mobile app, which can be found at the Apple App Store and Google Playstore.
It costs $1 for every 10 minutes with a one-time refundable deposit of $49.