oBike arrives in London with its dockless take on Boris bikes

From Engadget - July 12, 2017

The app also handles the payment side of things -- 50p per half hour -- and includes a credit system that gives users free ride time for reporting damaged and illegally parked bikes. The company tells Wired Tower Hamlets was a good place to start as it believes it to be an underserved area, and that it's going to add hundreds of bikes to grow the scheme every day throughout July. According to oBike, it's in ongoing discussions with local councils, which probably means it's trying to persuade them there's space for another player, considering the large number of 'Boris bikes' already in circulation.

Even in the much less saturated city of Cambridge, Chinese company Ofo had to scale back its trial, which began in April, to only a handful of bikes after the council became concerned they would clutter pavements. Mobike, which runs another identical app-based rental scheme, has had problems of its own after putting 1,000 bikes on the street of Manchester last month. It's far from a widespread issue, but some bikes have been the victim of run-of-the-mill vandalism, while others have simply been stolen after having their locks hacked off.


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