Dockless bike-share scheme oBike lands in London

Promises to add hundreds more bikes a day throughout the month

A dockless rival to Santander Cycles has launched in London. Promoting its bikes as cheaper, lighter and more convenient than Boris Bikes, Singapore firm oBike has initially deployed 400 bikes in Tower Hamlets with the promise of many more to come.

"It's super multicultural, there's a lot of cycle highways, so the commute from home to work or meeting to meeting is easy, but we felt there was a lack of bicycles available in the area," oBike’s Augustin Mallon told Wired.

As with other dockless schemes like Ofo in Cambridge and MoBike in Manchester, bikes are located, unlocked and hired via an app with each 30-minute ride costing 50p (once you’ve paid a refundable deposit of £49).

While there are 11,500 Boris Bikes dotted about the capital, each must be returned to a docking stations at the end of a ride and this is the main area where oBike feels it has an advantage as its bikes can be left at the user’s destination.

They’re ambitious too.

"Santander has 11,000 bikes on the streets and we're hoping to add to that by at least 50 per cent," said Mallon. He says that during July the firm will be putting "hundreds of bikes every day" onto the streets of the capital.

While hugely popular in China in particular, it remains to be seen how British cities will take to dockless hire bikes.

Earlier today we reported on incidents of vandalism in Manchester, where several MoBikes have had locks removed or ended up in canals. However, the firm says there have only been a tiny number of issues set against broader success in which it has seen nine to 10 rides per bike per day.

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Latest Comments

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    I understand where you are coming from but I do not think their target demo is the traditional cyclist. Of the people I know with a Peloton, none...

  • hawkinspeter 19 min 19 sec ago

    It does seem a bit unbalanced to be spending that much on wheels without showing the same love to the rest of the bike. I'm with Bobbinogs and you...

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  • mrbirch 48 min 34 sec ago

    Fantastic news, even when not on my bike and visiting on 'foot' I've been struck by dangerous it feels with the host of parking along that part of...

  • hawkinspeter 1 hour 10 min ago

    That article show a disgusting lack of respect for the bikes. There's one laying on the ground when there's a perfectly good post box to put it...

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