New Around the Woo: ofo

Rachel Shuster

Bike sharing has come to Worcester. Ofo is a station-free bicycle-sharing platform that is taking over the world, one pedal stroke at a time. The China-based company dropped off 200 bikes on the Common in September.

The company and concept was created with the idea of “sharing” in mind. The goal of the company is to make bikes accessible to everyone and connect people to one another. CEO and founder Dai Wei attended Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing, China. It was there, in 2014, that ofo was born.

This new and innovative concept is a great addition to the city, especially as the winter sets in and snow is upon us. Don’t want to drive in the snow or shovel out your car? Ofo is a great alternative for transportation and makes it super easy for those of us dealing with the cold and snowy winter months!

So how does it work? Ofo is unique in that since it is a dockless platform, users can drop the bikes off anywhere! The bikes have GPS systems built in so that they can be located and relocated if needed.

To get started, users download the ofo app. Once downloaded, users can find and unlock one of the iconic yellow bikes. The app gives users the ability to scan a code on the bike, which then creates a code to unlock it. Once it’s unlocked, happy riding! You’re all set to go. Each ride cost $1 an hour, but if you’re a college student, it’s only 50 cents an hour!

Ofo’s focus on efficiency, convenience and being green is reflective in its partnership with the UN Development Programme to reach Global Sustainability Goals. Ofo also has partnered up with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation to provide bikes for schoolgirls in Malawi.

To date, ofo has connected more than 8 million bikes in 170 cities across seven countries. And now, one of those cities is our very own Worcester. Ofo has talked of plans to have more than 400 bikes in the city by the end of this year.

Want more information on ofo? Visit ofo.com.

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