If you were in any doubt that Sydney hates cyclists, simply Google the carnage bestowed upon the already operational bike sharing schemes run by Reddy Go and oBike. They’ve been dumped in Bondi Oval, bound together with cable ties in Annandale and launched into trees in Newtown. Who knew we had it in us?
Well, in the face of adversity comes a third dockless bike company to join the gang. Today, Ofo expands its already successful Adelaide launch to New South Wales with the endorsement of Bicycle NSW.
They call themselves the world’s first and largest station-free bike sharing company – they have more than ten million bikes in 180 cities across the world. They’ll release the first 200 bikes into the wild of the City of Sydney suburbs, with an additional 200 rolling out into Waverley and the Inner West in the next few weeks.
They say a local team will manage the fleet to ensure bikes are (retrieved from rivers?) maintained, redistributed and equipped with helmets – a legal requirement in Australia.
Like the other bike sharing companies, Ofo functions with the help of a GPS tracker and an app to help the rider locate preferred parking zones on a map. They say three’s a crowd – so what makes this company more competitive? They’re cheaper, for a start.
Both Reddy Go and oBike charge $1.99 for 30 minutes. Ofo bikes are half the price – $1 for 30 minutes and each ride is capped at $5. There’s no deposit or membership fee, which is the same for all three companies. Handily, users can report missing helmets or faulty bike in the app.
Read more about Ofo bike sharing.