Dockless bike share company ofo is expanding into Islington and the City of London today.
An initial 100 bikes will be released onto the streets of Islington today, followed by a further 100 by the end of the week. Bikes will be allowed to organically migrate into the City of London as customers hire them.
The bike-sharing scheme is the first of its kind in Islington, and ofo’s presence in neighbouring Hackney provides choice for riders in both boroughs.
To access a bike, riders can download the ofo app and unlock their nearest bike via Bluetooth connection. Once their ride is complete, users can close the lock to complete their ride and make it available for the next person to use. The yellow bikes are hired through a smartphone app for 50p for 30 minutes, with no deposit required, and can be picked up and dropped off anywhere that bike parking is allowed.
ofo also employs geofencing technology to ensure that riders use the bikes within the designated ‘home zone’, where journeys should begin and end. From launch day, ofo will have a team of ‘marshals’ available seven days a week to answer any questions from users and ensure the service runs smoothly and that bikes are being parked responsibly.
ofo’s UK operations director Joseph Seal-Driver commented:“We’re very pleased to announce that ofo bikes will now be available to cyclists across Islington, making getting from A to B in the borough greener, quicker and more fun. The bikes have proved a huge success in Hackney, and moving into neighbouring Islington will allow us to provide riders in the capital with even more flexibility and convenience.
“It is fantastic to be working with a forward-looking council like Islington, who have impressed us with their openness to the new ideas we need to solve the congestion and pollution problems facing the Capital.”
ofo first launched in the UK in April this year in Cambridge, and has since rolled out to Oxford, Norwich and Hackney.