The world’s first dockless hire scheme, Ofo, will launch in Leeds on Tuesday 15 May with a fleet of 1,000 bikes.
The Leeds scheme will focus initially on the city centre, expanding into suburbs and nearby towns shortly after. The scheme will be Ofo’s second in Yorkshire after launching in Sheffield in January and add to existing operations in Cambridge, Oxford, Norwich and London. In Sheffield alone, over 28,000 trips have been made on Ofo bikes so far, with figures showing almost a 20% rise from January to February.
Today, Ofo operates in over 250 cities across 21 countries. It generates 32 million transactions daily and has provided over 200 million global users with six billion efficient, convenient and green rides.
Leeds residents will be able to hire a lightweight, three-speed bike with the click of a button via the Ofo smartphone app, ride it anywhere in the city and lock it again for just 50p for a 30 minute journey.
The entire fleet will be fitted with bright dynamo front lights, solar-powered rear lights and a handy front basket. They also have a hydraulically-adjusted seatpost so riders of all heights can get comfortable in seconds.
The company is leading the way on a responsible operation of dockless bike sharing, working closely with Leeds City Council to ensure the scheme provides a valuable and reliable service for the public. The company also employs marshals on the Living Wage to manage its fleet in all cities it operates in.
Joseph Seal-Driver, Ofo’s UK General Manager, said: “Ofo’s arrival in Leeds is going to transform the way local residents get from A to B; providing a greener, healthier and faster alternative to the traditional modes of transport.
“Following the success we’ve had in nearby Sheffield, we are delighted to be arriving in Leeds with strong numbers. We’ve worked closely with Leeds council to ensure that the scheme rolls out smoothly, meeting the needs of the locals and making sure the scheme is accessible as possible.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “I am delighted that having reached an agreement with Ofo, we can now begin to look forward to a public bike sharing scheme starting in Leeds this May.
“This is exciting news, and will offer both residents and visitors to Leeds the chance to cycle conveniently into and around the city centre for what will be a small fee.”
Councillor Eric Firth, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: “Working with our partners through the CityConnect programme, we are already creating award-winning infrastructure, such as the Leeds – Bradford Cycle Superhighway, which is helping to make cycling and walking the norm.
“The introduction of Ofo to make dockless bikes available in Leeds will help to build on that success and I hope to see it rolled out in other West Yorkshire districts in the future.”
Founded by five Peking University students in 2014, Ofo is the world’s first and largest station-free bicycle-sharing platform. Ofo was created for sharing and aims to unlock every corner of the world by making bicycles accessible to everyone.
With more than 32 million transactions daily, Ofo connects over 10 million bikes to riders in 250 cities across the globe. In total, more than 3 billion rides have been provided to over 100 million users globally https://www.ofo.com