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Ofo bike share trial begins in Cambridge

By Ben Comber

ofo launch in Cambridge, Emma catchpole tries one of the bikes. Picture: Keith Heppell
ofo launch in Cambridge, Emma catchpole tries one of the bikes. Picture: Keith Heppell

Have you tried one of the 'iconic' yellow bikes? Let us know what you think.

ofo launch in Cambridge, from left Alex myers and Emma Catchpole . Picture: Keith Heppell
ofo launch in Cambridge, from left Alex myers and Emma Catchpole . Picture: Keith Heppell

Beijing bike-share firm Ofo launched a 20-bike trial in Cambridge yesterday.

For three weeks the 20 bikes will be free to those with the app, and depending on the response there could be more of the bikes on the way.

There are 500 bikes that have been made for the UK (lights have been fitted) and other cities could be getting some of them if there trial is well received.

This will all depend on how many apps are downloaded and how many rides are made.

Ofo spokesperson Alex Myers said: “There are 500 bikes being brought to the UK but that doesn’t mean they will all come to Cambridge necessarily. It’s not a case of us inflicting a plan on Cambridge, it’s a case of adapting the service around what Cambridge needs.

“The reason for doing the trial is to understand the appetite for the service, where the bikes are in demand the most, and prove the concept within the city. And to hopefully allay any concerns. We’ll hopefully introduce more bikes over time until we feel like Cambridge has the service that it needs and deserves, and that will constantly be addressed over time.”

“It’s unashamedly accessible - Ofo has a philosophy of people owning less and sharing more. That seems to resonate a lot with the student community in the cities that we were in previously.

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“I think we’re going to see that people actually use the service very responsibly. The service has been rolled out already across 81 cities, there’s 4,000,000, they are responsible for more than 10million journeys a day. There’s less than 1 per cent that get vandalised or broken or misplaced or stolen. Mainly because I think people see that ofo isn’t as much a company as it is a community, so everyone who uses the bikes feels ownership for them, just as you, as a resident, feel ownership of a city.”

“With them being bright yellow they’re relatively iconic. In Cambridge you have all the various bike parks, so there will be a yellow bike in each bike park essentially. If you can’t find one that’s a disappointment for now but that’s where we’ll be expanding the service to make sure people feel like there’s enough for them to find one when they need one but not too many to feel like there’s an undue amount.”

There are a team of ten Cambridge residents that collect the bikes when they are left in less accessible areas.

Have you taken one for a test-drive? Let us know what you thought of the experience.


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