Bike sharing company Ofo, which debuted in Dallas in early November, is rapidly setting itself apart from the pack by offering something the others do not: services in the suburbs.
While most bike sharing companies have focused on inner city Dallas, Ofo is expanding into Plano and Arlington. The company has already deployed approximately 100 bikes in downtown Plano, and more bikes in Arlington, near and around AT&T Stadium. This follows Ofo's first stand of bikes placed in Uptown and downtown Dallas.
Ofo spokesman Chris Taylor, who is head of the U.S. operation, says that this suburban expansion makes Ofo the instant market leader.
"When we launched in Dallas, we knew we wanted to quickly expand into areas that have not been traditionally served by bike share companies," Taylor says in a release. "Plano and Arlington, both large North Texas cities, are prime communities for bike share which provides easier, more convenient transportation for residents. As the demand for bike share continues to grow in the suburbs throughout North Texas, we hope to continue to expand to serve those communities."
Every Ofo city has an operations team that oversees maintenance-related functions including ensuring ofo bikes are parked in accordance with local laws and regulations, re-parking bikes as necessary to ensure that public right of way is protected, redistributing bikes across the service zone to address user needs, and cleaning and repairing the fleet.
Ofo is currently in over 180 cities around the world and has 10 million bikes in operation. The company's goals include easing traffic congestion, saving energy, and promoting healthier living along the way.
To use an Ofo bike, you download an app to find available bikes. There's a QR code you scan to unlock the bike, and you manually lock it to automatically end the trip.