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World’s largest smart bike sharing platform launches in London

01 August 2017

Mobike, the world’s first and largest smart & sustainable bike-share, launches its service in London, starting with the West London borough of Ealing.

Mobike is launching in London (Credit: Mobike)

The launch comes hot on the heels of Mobike’s success in launching the UK’s first council and community backed bicycle sharing scheme in Manchester just a few weeks ago.

The launch is the result of a sustained collaboration between Mobike, Ealing council and other local stakeholders. Mobike’s sustainable and affordable solution will be Ealing’s very first smart and dockless bike share scheme, and is designed to benefit users, local business and communities, as well as the council itself.

Ealing will see Mobike launching with an initial 750 bikes in September, with that number expected to increase to meet growing demand for the service. 

Steve Pyer, UK General Manager for Mobike, said: “We’re excited to be the first council and community backed dockless bike-sharing scheme coming to London. Mobike is committed to help develop the bike sharing culture across the globe through its discussions and collaboration with cities - and London is key in achieving this. We’re committed to working closely with Ealing and other boroughs to make Mobike, and bike-sharing as a whole, a successful experience for Londoners.

With the innovative dockless scheme, locals will be able to pick up and ride Mobikes around the city at any time by simply downloading the Mobike app, finding a nearby Mobike and scanning a QR code. To complete their ride, users need only park the bike at any authorised bike parking area near their destination and manually close the lock on the bike.

Mobikes are designed with a series of proprietary high-tech features that no other bike-sharing company provides. Every Mobike is equipped with unique smart-lock technology and built-in GPS connected via the Mobike IoT network, which helps locate and monitor the health of each bike to ensure a constant supply and quality experience for users. Additionally, the data it generates can provide invaluable urban transportation insights for cities and local communities, to manage location-based bike demand and inform infrastructure planning.

Steve Pyer added: “What differentiates our approach is that not only do we work closely with cities in the run-up to launching our scheme, but we also aim to be a benefit to them in the long term. Part of why we get such support from local authorities is that, wherever we operate, we develop partnerships with local businesses and communities to create opportunities for new schemes, CSR policies and community events.”

“We also help increase the attractiveness of remote areas by making it possible for people to complete a few more kilometres through cycling - contributing to the creation of new business and locals friendly spaces. We pride ourselves in being a truly positive and enduring benefit for the areas that we work in. That was the case in Manchester, and we’re confident it will be the case in London, starting with Ealing.”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure at Ealing Council, said: “We want more people to cycle in Ealing and the launch of Mobike in the borough is another way of helping people who want to give it a go, but are put off by the upfront expense of buying a bike or by lack of storage. We are working with Mobike to initially launch in Acton and together, will closely watch how the bikes are used with the aim of extending them further across the borough.”

Mobike is launching in London (Credit: Mobike)

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to try cycling so I’m excited by the arrival of Mobike. We have a wide range of cycling support already in place, including free cycle training, free maintenance checks and free guided bike tours, and this affordable, dockless bike scheme will complement all these. This scheme works best when everyone plays their part in using and parking the bikes responsibly so as not to block the pavement for others. We have a wonderful community in Ealing and I am sure our residents will use the scheme with consideration for others. I look forward to seeing more residents leave their cars at home and switch to a Mobike instead.”

Mobike has been warmly welcomed and endorsed by local authorities in all the cities it has come to, with strong support from Transport for Greater Manchester, the mayors of Salford and Manchester, and the respective councils. Mobike also launched in Italy last week, with the support of the mayors of both Florence and Milan, who joined Mobike founder and president Hu Weiwei to cycle around the city following a launch event in Florence.

Mobike’s operations are founded on responsibility, sustainability, and innovation. The company works closely with city governments to define a tailored model for each city. The smart bike-sharing service relieves congestion, reduces pollution, and provides a simple and cost-effective mobility solution in urban areas.

Mobike will aim to provide its affordable and environmentally-friendly service to a series of London boroughs over the next few months.

How Mobike works

Mobike is a re-imagination and delivery of the ultimate urban bicycle. Through every element of its design, the goal is to provide an effortless experience using the pinnacle of technology. The bike itself lists innovations such as the chainless shaft transmission, non-puncture airless tyres, a lightweight aluminium anti-rust frame, enhanced and durable disk-brakes and an auto-inspired five-spoke wheel. These functional design elements result in a maintenance-free bike, with each Mobike’s lifespan estimated at four years of fix-free cycling. Each bicycle is connected to the Mobike IoT network via GPS embedded smart lock; forming one of the largest IoT networks on the globe.

To use the service, users simply need to download the Mobike app, register, and scan the QR code on the bike. With Mobike’s proprietary smart-lock technology, scanning the QR code instantly unlocks the bike and allows the user to ride it away. To complete their ride, users need only to park the bike at any authorised bike parking areas near to their destination and manually close the lock on the bike. The Mobike mobile app is now available for download in London at the Android store here and Apple app store here.

London users will enjoy the same initial discounted deposit as Manchester users when they sign up - £29. Users are then charged 50p for 30 minutes.

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