Tuesday, January 26News For London

Mobike expanded its scheme to Islington area:opportunities and challenges of dockless bike in London

Islington council has given permission for Mobike to launch 200 new dockless bikes in the borough, only weeks after allowing the other share bike firm Ofo expanded from Hackney.



Mobike has expanded its scheme to Islington area London. Photo by Qiuyi Wu.

Mobike, the Chinese smart sustainable bike share firm has expanded its scheme to Islington area, as the second district of London after Ealing.

The launch of Mobike in Islington area is cooperated by Mobike company, Islington council and other local stakeholders.  Steve Pyer, UK general manager for Mobike, said: “Islington is an important milestone in growing our presence in London. Islington is a stylish, energetic, multi-generational borough – and already has a strong cycling culture.” As the place with the lowest car ownership in London, bike share mode provides a new way of life for nearby residents.

[Video by Qiuyi Wu]

Compared to traditional sharing bikes like Santander’s Boris Bike, dockless bikes are more convenient and easier to access. Users can directly use their smart phones to unlock a bike and track their routes by the GPS. The most important thing is that, users don’t have to search for a certain on-street cycle dock after finish riding.

Boris Bike and Mobike in Islington area. Photo by Qiuyi Wu


[Video by Qiuyi Wu]

Another competitor sharing bike Ofo arrived in Islington just a few weeks ago. The borough thus becomes the first place in London who introduced two kinds of dockless bikes for users.

Joseph Seal- Driver, general manager of Ofo in the UK said: “We welcome competition in Islington, just as we did in Oxford when Mobike launched there several months after us. It’s healthy and ultimately benefits the public.”

Ofo in Islington area. Photo by Qiuyi Wu

However, there’re also hidden dangers exist. Within this year, four different dockless bikes have appeared in the capital. Though it is a good thing to introduce bike share to UK, especially for big cities like London, the way how the government and the company manage it, and also how to balance the competition in this industry would be a great concern in the future.

In China, the increasing number of bikes and limited demand and users have led to problems like blocking the sidewalk and waste of redundant bikes. Up to September this year, there’re 12 cities in China announced the suspension of inputting new sharing bikes.

Wang Xiaofeng, the CEO of Mobike said in the 2017 Fortune Forum on Dec 5th: “The thing always needed to be considered is that, how could we play the role of government, organizations, enterprises, research institutions, citizens and other parties, to jointly manage such a semi-public-spirit property. We should improve the norms and regulations while developing and discovering problems. We are not only happy to see it, but also hope to be able to promote it.”