Mobike Hire Scheme Extended In Chiswick
Dockless bike hire scheme being trialled by Hounslow borough
The Mobike low-cost bike share scheme which has been running in the Ealing borough part of Chiswick (docking at Acton Lane) will be extended locally following an agreement with Hounslow Council.
Hounslow have agreed to the bikes in Brentford and Chiswick for a 12-month trial period.
Cyclists can use an app to book and dock the bikes, leave them at a MPL - a Mobike Preferred Location - or a bike rack. .
They will be rolled out in phases from February 2018. The Council has not yet revealed how many sites will be in use or their location.
The bikes feature an integrated ‘smart lock’ which allows them to be GPS tracked, as well as locking the back wheel when not being used. This means the expensive 'docking station' such as those needed for the Santander cycles is not needed, making them more suitable for use in outer London as there is no cost to the council for the scheme.
To hire the bikes users download the Mobike app (Android , IOS), fill in their personal details, pay the deposit, and are ready to go. London users get a discounted deposit of £1. Users are then charged 50p for 30 minutes.
Hounslow Council says it will be monitoring the scheme during the trial. Users can communicate views on the trial with Mobike via their 24 hour contact centre on 0330 131 9789, if there are issues with bikes or their accounts they can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org, or using the Mobike App.
Mobike is to provide the Council with regular updates and feedback throughout the trial. Hounslow Council says it is particularly interested in ensuring that the bikes don’t lead to obstruction of the footway or take up cycle parking spaces used by existing cyclists, and will encourage people to report such incidences during the trial.
Mobike, which is a Chinese based firm, entered the UK market in Manchester earlier in summer and picked Ealing borough to deliver its London service with an initial 750 bikes. A row of the bikes is now located outside the Duke of Sussex pub at the entrance to Acton Lane.
Unlike 'Boris Bikes' the new scheme will not have docking stations. Users will be charged 50p per half hour after paying a £29 initial refundable deposit. The bikes can be booked using an app and unlocked using a QR code. The company says there is a GPS system on each bicycle, helping to locate and monitor the condition of bikes.
A similarly named scheme called Obike was launched in Hammersmith & Fulham recently by a company from Singapore but caused problems as carelessly abandoned bikes caused obstructions.
The company have also launched a helpline for people concerned about Mobike being used anti-socially, seemingly lost or abandoned, or damaged. The Contact Centre is open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and there is an out of hours service, both contacted by telephone on 0330 131 9789 or email@example.com You will need the bike number, which is painted on the bike, when you call.
Mobike has partnered with London-based bike maintenance company and cycling scheme expert havebike which will help provide monitoring, maintenance and refurbishing of the parking areas.
The Mobike mobile app is now available for download at the Android store here and Apple app store.
As well as scheme is China, Mobike also operates in 150 cities most recently launching in Florence and Milan.
The company raised over $1billion last year and was reportedly valued at up to $3billion.
January 24, 2018