Ofo are the world’s largest bike sharing company, with ten million bicycles currently cluttering up 18 countries.
The Chinese company will be launching in Sydney this week, introducing hundreds more yellow bikes to our city streets – even though that colour is already taken by the similarly-named oBike.
200 bikes will hit the CBD streets tomorrow, with a further 200 dropped in the Waverley Council area next week, and 200 more headed to the Inner West.
There are currently over 4,000 bikes in Sydney and 60,000 people have so far downloaded either the Reddy Go or the oBike app onto their phones.
Where Ofo will differ from its rivals is that it is attempting to introduce “preferred parking” zones in each area, with CCTV installed to monitor any destruction of the bikes.
The bike uses a “geofence” to warn riders who try to leave the vehicles outside one of these zones – although I can’t imagine that the same people tossing bikes into rivers and planting them up trees will suddenly heed a beep on their phone.
“There have been some challenges faced by other operators, but we are taking our time to do this right,” says Ofo Australia’s head of strategy, Scott Walker. “Bike share in Sydney has a really good future.”
The bikes will cost $1 for half an hour.