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Old 16th January 2018, 18:08   #1
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Default Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

In December 2017, it was reported that Chinese bicycle sharing service 'ofo' had entered the Indian market. The company has now confirmed the launch of its dock less bicycle-sharing platform in 7 cities as a pilot project.

Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities-ofo.jpg

ofo has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC). The service will also be available in Chennai, Bangalore, Indore and Delhi. It is a "station-free" bicycle-sharing platform operated via an online mobile application. It aims to offer last mile connectivity in cities. The company will compete with established players like Ola and Zoomcar that are currently running similar pilot programs in various cities of India.

Ola Pedal has already been introduced in select cities and offers last mile connectivity at townships, educational campuses and tech parks. Meanwhile, Zoomcar has launched its PEDL service in Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata.

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Old 17th January 2018, 12:47   #2
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

This is a very good service indeed. Unlike PEDL, which has bike docking stations, with ofo, you just leave the bicycle at your destination. This means there is no need to walk from a bike station - which is how last mile connectivity should be.

Problems? Yes. I am not too sure about getting 4G / 3G network everywhere - even in big cities. Besides, there are times when smartphone apps do not function as intended or the phone's battery runs out. What happens then? Additionally, there is the ever-existent problem of haphazard parking that we are so familiar with all over our country.

Still, I do hope this venture is successful. Many times getting into a bus to or from a railway station is a pain. This bike sharing platform should help matters - at least for those familiar with riding bicycles.
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Old 17th January 2018, 13:24   #3
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

A very interesting initiative. I wonder how succesfull it's going to be? I just don't know if the average Indian is likely to get on a bicycle for (part) of their commute.

Riding a bicycle to commute, or to take the kids to school, or do the shopping (anything other then pure hobby/sport) is pretty much a cultural thing I think.

In some countries it is just not done. My wife comes from Barbados and this tiny island would be very suitable for getting around on a bicycle. At least most of the island is pretty flat, decent roads.

Still nobody does. They all get in their cars or if you havent got a car, get on a bus. Nobody even owns a bicycle other then the odd cycle enthusiast doing some off roading or racing.

It will be interesting to see how it develops and how long these bicycles will last in what I would call a "harsh environment".


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Old 17th January 2018, 15:16   #4
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

This is now very popular here in Singapore, so much that there are marked bays next to each bus-stops to park these bikes. Other than Ofo, there are two other major players (oBike and Mobike). And going to a nearby supermarket, or going for a ride on the beachside park is so easy now - just hop on one of these; its mostly free or cost a dollar maximum. And almost all of them provide good statistics of the ride.

Some screenshots:

Ofo - look at the yellow baloons. Its like the whole area is flooded with bikes

Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities-capture_20180117173607_resized.png
Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities-capture_20180117173618_resized.png

Mobike

Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities-capture_20180117173637_resized.png
Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities-capture_20180117173719_resized.png

oBike

Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities-capture_20180117173750_resized.png

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Problems? Yes. I am not too sure about getting 4G / 3G network everywhere - even in big cities. Besides, there are times when smartphone apps do not function as intended or the phone's battery runs out. What happens then? Additionally, there is the ever-existent problem of haphazard parking that we are so familiar with all over our country.
Problems are there; even a much-controlled environment like Singapore, you can see quite a bit of Ofo and other bikes without seat, broken handles etc. If it gets popular similar kind of issues probably will be even more in India. It can add into congestion and visual pollution. Regarding the smartphone, (I am not sure how they will set this up in India) here just need to On Bluetooth and scan the QR code to unlock the bike. Once you reach the destination you just manually lock the bike and leave. If your phone runs out of battery, you will be able to manually update the trip (if it’s not auto-closed when you locked the bike).

Last edited by vb-san : 17th January 2018 at 15:23.
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Old 17th January 2018, 15:54   #5
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

Nice concept. The challenge I see with India is that we do not have any kind of dedicated bicycle lanes. So even if for a short distance, you need to share the road with the umpteen kind of vehicles already there. In addition, for most other vehicles, you will not even exist on the road.

For a mass adoption to happen, there should be some sort of a lane infrastructure put in place- at least in the major areas of a city.
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Old 17th January 2018, 16:08   #6
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

This is really good initiative. If it tastes little bit of success then it will encourage infrastructure adjustment by city corporations.

Obviously there will be problem related to security and vandalism but I believe it will be less than what I see here in Germany. Even in the Germany, we call very cultured and disciplined society, it is not true when it comes to bicycles because it is most stolen item in the country. I lost one brand new my beloved bike at a blink of eye. Everyone in Germany will experience or have experienced at least one bicycle theft. Which is less problem in India I guess because it is ignored commodity for general masses in India .

Last edited by sushantr5 : 17th January 2018 at 16:23.
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Old 21st January 2018, 18:14   #7
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

When I read this thread the first time it was published, I had quite the sense of cynicism on how it will shape up but resisted posting it. But now, that sense is a reality.

Goes to show why we just don't deserve progress.

Quote:
PUNE: The cycle sharing initiative launched by Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL) in December at Savitribai Phule Pune University is showing signs of poor civic sense — 25 cycles have gone missing in the 40 days after the launch.
Some improvements planned:

Quote:
A cellphone app based system has been introduced for unlocking the cycles. Those who have stolen or misused the cycles can be tracked using the data provided in the app, he added.
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/62561095.cms
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Old 22nd January 2018, 18:14   #8
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

Can't compare India with other countries.. It's the tropical climate, dust, pollution, crowded streets and bad roads that makes it difficult commuting on a cycle in India. Yes other countries might have the same problems but not all at the same time... but again, we like anything for free...
I read an article today about "White, holy stone from aliens" that landed in Gurugram village, some conjectured it was a rare mineral or a celestial object, sneaked a few pieces into their homes and stowed them in the fridge. turns out to be human poop discharged from aircrafts.

So free rides, shall boost the usage of cycles
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Old 22nd January 2018, 19:13   #9
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

In China they overdid this and now they are calling its a bubble. Too many of these services in short time.

I think the same is happening in India. Didn't we have bicylcle shops here long time ago ? I learnt cycling paying 10 paise per hour or so. People used to take these to go shopping too. What has changed now is the traffic. Maybe smaller towns can still have these but we are trying to do these in crowded traffic congested cities and they have to use the same roads.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 19:59   #10
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Default Re: Ofo - Bicycle sharing platform launches pilots in 7 Indian cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
In China they overdid this and now they are calling its a bubble. Too many of these services in short time.
It is indeed a big issue in China (see here); the bright yellow ones are the same Ofo bikes we are discussing here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva
I think the same is happening in India. Didn't we have bicylcle shops here long time ago ? I learnt cycling paying 10 paise per hour or so. People used to take these to go shopping too.
The difference is with this service, you can actually simply lock the bike at your destination and leave. No need to return it to the rental shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva
Maybe smaller towns can still have these but we are trying to do these in crowded traffic congested cities and they have to use the same roads.
True.. Infrastructure is the key. This can work very well in cities with dedicated bike lanes; here in Singapore there are proper park connectors with bike lanes, and otherwise footpaths are the bike tracks. Even then, piled up bikes are kind of getting to be an eye-sore.
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