Bike Sharing News
Bike-sharing continues to climb, according to figures released by Ofo, one of the handful of bike-share companies that has set up shop in Dallas.
Ofo began service in Dallas in early November, and its users have ridden more than 100,000 miles.
In December, the number of trips increased by more than 50 percent and January was better yet, with nearly 75 percent growth, even during the cold snap.
Statistics from Ofo mirror those of other bike-share companies in that the majority of trips — nearly 70 percent — start or end near a transit stop (light rail or bus) in Dallas.
This number is significantly higher than other cities Ofo serves such as Washington, D.C. and Seattle, where that number is closer to half.
The company has partnered with DART to place its yellow bikes near rail stations in downtown Dallas, plus Mockingbird Station, and two stops in Plano — about 10 stops, total.
As part of an overall city-wide promotion, the bikes are free through the month of February; the company is still mulling its plans for March.
"We had a meeting with Gary Thomas, the CEO of DART," says Everett Weiler, general manager of Ofo Dallas. "He's fascinated with bike sharing because we present a realistic solution for the first-mile last-mile problem.
"For people who might otherwise use public transportation, that last mile from a bus or train stop is an obstacle," he says. "It would take you another 30 minutes to walk it, but it's only 5 minutes on a bike. Bike-sharing opens the door to a brand new user."
Ofo is the company that partnered with Paul Quinn College and placed 50 bikes on campus for students to use for free. In less than a month, they've logged hundreds of trips.
The company has also tracked its bikes being ridden outside of the urban core, in areas that are traditionally underserved, IE southern Dallas, where 20 percent of Ofo's bike fleet is being utilized.
"We feel that's important, and we're doing what we can to be part of the mayor's Grow South initiative," Weiler says.