Bike Sharing News

Big layoffs at bike-share company prompt total pullout in Dallas

Big layoffs at bike-share company prompt total pullout in Dallas

Ofo bikes
Look for fewer of these in the coming weeks. Photo courtesy of Ofo

UPDATE: Bike-share company Ofo will be pulling out of Dallas entirely. A statement from Everett Weiler, Ofo GM of Texas, says, "As we continue to bring bikeshare to communities across the globe, Ofo has begun to re-evaluate markets that present obstacles to new, green transit solutions, and prioritize growth in viable markets that support alternative transportation and allow us to continue to serve our customers. As a result, we will not be seeking a permit to operate in Dallas and we thank the city for allowing us to introduce bikeshare to millions of people in Texas."

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One of the big bike-share companies currently operating in Dallas is undergoing mass company-wide layoffs, resulting in a far smaller local footprint.

According to Forbes, Ofo laid off 70 percent of its U.S. workforce on July 18, and will also be shutting down operations in several cities, not yet identified.

The company, which is based in China, operates in 30 markets such as Washington, D.C. and Seattle, which recently proposed legislation that would charge bike-share companies $50 per bike.

Ofo currently has more than 40,000 bikes in the U.S., but has been unable to deploy scooters, which have proven to be profitable for competitors such as Lime.

The cutbacks are expected to reduce the company's total number of cities and total fleet of bikes and that includes its fleet in Dallas, where Ofo has been part of a pilot program. A company spokesperson wasn't able to confirm the final disposition in Dallas, but other sources say that Ofo will be pulling out of nearly all cities except for Seattle, San Diego, and New York.

Forbes called Ofo's layoff "an abrupt turnaround" for the company, which had plans to launch electric bikes and scooters in up to 100 cities by the end of 2018.

The company released a statement, saying, "As we continue to bring bikeshare to communities across the globe, Ofo has begun to re-evaluate markets that present obstacles to new, green transit solutions, and prioritize growth in viable markets that support alternative transportation and allow us to continue to serve our customers."