By Kate Brown
The World’s first dockless bike scheme came to Sheffield in January 2018. Beijing-based bicycle sharing company Ofo launched 1,000 bikes across Sheffield, allowing members of the public to pick up and drop off bikes for no more than £5 per day.
However, Ofo announced that they would cease operations and withdraw the ‘scan and go’ hireable bike service from Sheffield in the coming weeks. General Manager of Ofo UK, Joseph Seal-Driver, said: “The reception to our launch in Sheffield was fantastic and we’ve seen a huge amount of hires. But we’ve taken the difficult decision to withdraw from the city and focus on other key markets.” Cabinet member for Transport and Development at Sheffield Council, Jack Scott, said it is a shame that Ofo is downsizing their operations and withdrawing from Sheffield.
A peak in vandalism as well as an increase in reports of bikes being discarded or dumped have left people questioning whether this is the reason behind Ofo withdrawing the scheme from Sheffield. Mr. Seal-Driver commented: “We have experienced some vandalism and theft in Sheffield, but this is not the reason for this strategic decision to rationalise the business.”
Councillor Jack Scott announced that Sheffield will look at other dockless bike schemes that can be introduced to Sheffield, so that members of the public can continue to enjoy the benefits of this mode of transport.