Dockless firm ofo has today expanded into Sheffield with a fleet of 1,000 bikes; the brand has stated that this is its largest and fastest launch in the UK so far.
All bikes in Sheffield will be free to hire for the first two weeks, and ofo collects no deposit when registering new users. Sheffield is ofo’s first city in the north of the UK and follows launches in Cambridge, Oxford, London and Norwich. The scheme is already used by 200m users in 20 countries to make 32m trips every day.
From today, Sheffield’s citizens will be able to hire a three-speed bike via the ofo smartphone app, ride it anywhere in the city and lock it again at the cost of 50p for a 30 minute journey. The entire fleet will be fitted with dynamo front lights, solar-powered rear lights and a front basket. They also have a hydraulically-adjusted seatpost.
ofo’s operations manager for Sheffield Adam Rose said: “ofo is set to stir up the way Sheffield residents travel in their city. Dockless bikes give people options that can challenge the private car. Like countless cities across the UK, Sheffield is marred by air pollution problems, often caused by congestion. By bringing ofo to Sheffield we are offering a clean, affordable and practical alternative.
“ofo harnesses the fantastic potential of cutting-edge technology but combines it with the classic utility of the bicycle – something which I’m sure will appeal to the residents of a vibrant and thriving city like Sheffield.”
Sheffield councillor and cabinet member for Transport and Sustainability Jack Scott added: "ofo coming to Sheffield is great news for this city. This type of bike sharing is set to change the way we get from A-to-B for the better. Not only will ofo provide an affordable and convenient transport option for many, but it will also promote the fantastic health benefits of cycling - reducing air pollution and boosting healthy lifestyles.
"Sheffield Council has been working closely with ofo to ensure that dockless bikes are used responsibly and considerately following their introduction. That's why we support ofo's approach of gradually increasing the bikes on Sheffield streets after gauging usage patterns. This will help ofo bikes serve the right areas and the right people – enriching and supplementing Sheffield's existing transport options."
From launch day, ofo will have a team of ‘marshals’ available seven days a week to answer any questions from users and that bikes are being parked responsibly.