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Ofo boosts Cambridge rented bike fleet as free trial continues

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

The Beijing bike share firm has increased its fleet of yellow bikes in Cambridge after declaring its April trial a success.

After committing to taking an office in CB1, Beijing-based bicycle-sharing outfit Ofo has added another 30 bikes to its Cambridge fleet, taking the total to 50.

The firm says the additional, distinctive yellow bikes will meet the need identified during its three-week trial which started in April.

The bikes are currently free for people to try once they have downloaded the app. The bikes can then be picked up and dropped off anywhere that bike parking is permitted as, unlike London’s Boris Bikes, they do not need to be docked.

A spokesperson for Ofo said that there had been a positive response to the launch, but did not reveal how many had downloaded the app.

“At present we’re still in the beta phase of our rollout so the service is currently free,” said the spokesperson. “As soon as we’re happy that we can move out of this phase we’ll start charging for the use of the bikes.”

This is expected to be about 50p per ride.

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The spokesperson added: “We’re seeing a mixed use for leisure and commuters alike. They’re being used more during the week.”

The bikes are generally being hired by single riders rather than groups renting several bikes at a time to get around the city. “We’ve seen the bikes used for a range of journeys and have regularly seen journeys of six miles.”

So far, users have not vandalised any of the bikes, as was expected when the initial 20 cycles arrived in April.


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