Dockless Bike Hire Launches In Wandsworth

OFO is designed to complement rather than compete with Santander

Dockless bike hire company ofo will be launching a service in Wandsworth later this month.

The scheme, which is expanding to cover ten London boroughs including Wandsworth, will mean people can register with an app to locate and hire a bike without having to access it via a fixed docking station.

Ofo will complement the existing Santander cycle hire scheme, which does not operate across the entire borough. It will support the objectives of the council’s Cycling Strategy and other council plans which aim for cycling to make up seven per cent of all trips by 2026.

The launch follows a decision by the council last year to stop the dockless bike hire firm O-bikes from operating in the borough following widespread complaints about bikes being randomly dumped.

The new scheme will be subject to strict safeguards. ‘Geofencing’ technology will ensure that riders use the bikes within the designated ‘Home Zone’ which is clearly visible in the app. Ofo will have a team of marshals available seven days a week to answer any questions from users and ensure the service runs smoothly and that bikes are being parked responsibly.

The council has agreed provisions with ofo for prompt removal of any bikes causing an obstruction. The public can also report concerns on 0808 1101 7141 or by emailing All bikes have the contact number printed on them.

Customers will be able to hire a lightweight three-speed bike via the ofo smartphone app, ride it to their destination and lock it again for just 70p for a 30 minute journey. Ofo has also introduced daily passes, offering unlimited rides for £2.90 and monthly passes, costing £9.90.

The scheme has been given permission to operate for a pilot period of 12 months but can be terminated early if it is not working, or extended if it is a success.

Joseph Seal-Driver, ofo’s UK General Manager, said, “We will be working very closely with the council to ensure ofo’s rollout goes as smoothly as possible and to provide the best experience for residents. We are looking forward to seeing our distinctive yellow bikes on the streets giving people a fun, cheap and environmentally friendly way to get around.”

The council’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook added, “We feel there is a place in the borough for a dockless bike hire scheme, but it must be the right one. We’re confident that we’ve found the right partner in ofo.”

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June 14, 2018