Peking Pedal Power. Watch out for “fourth generation” dockless bikes for hire!
Making short trips around town on a hired bike grows more popular. Until 2017 your trip started and ended at one of the limited number of bike docking stations. The latest bikes now have built-in GPS. An app on your mobile shows you the nearest bike. To unlock it you simply scan its bar code. At the end you leave it in virtually any safe public place you choose.
This business is dominated worldwide by two new, and already huge, Chinese companies. These are “Mobike” and its hot rival “Ofo” – say 10 million bikes each, with a few other companies besides, in particular Irish “Urbo” ( bikes also made in China). An earlier Chinese company “Bluegogo” has ceased trading. Operations are in almost 200 cities, mostly in China – Shanghai alone has 1.5 million dockless bikes. International expansion started in 2017.
After trials in Manchester in 2017 these companies started in some of London’s 32 Boroughs – Mobike in Ealing (750), OfO in Hackney, Islington and The City , and Urbo in Waltham Forest and now Enfield. All is very clearly explained here.
Watch out for a huge increase here in London. Here’s how other cities are getting on.
On yer- Chinese – bike!