Chinese bike-rental start-up opens in SA

Chinese bike rental start-up Ofo has picked Adelaide to start its Australian operations but hopes to fare better than other schemes interstate.

A Chinese bike-rental start-up with more than 20 million riders worldwide has launched a pilot program in Adelaide with hopes to fare better than similar schemes interstate.

Bike-rental firms launched in Melbourne and Sydney earlier this year but soon drew the ire of councils and the public with people dumping bikes in rivers and on train tracks.

Ofo launched on Tuesday with 50 bikes located around Adelaide's CBD.

Head of strategy Scott Walker says users will be able to download the Ofo app to access the bikes. Riders will pay $1 for 30 minutes with individual rides capped at $5.

The company was attracted to Adelaide by its flat, wide streets and a co-operative state government and hopes for better acceptance than similar bike share schemes interstate.

Mr Walker said his company was committed to rapid collection of illegally parked bikes.

"We are committed to collecting any inappropriately parked bikes between the hours of 6am and 11pm," he said.

He said the company had a local operations team and a strong GPS system, allowing it to track the bikes in real time.

"If bikes end up outside of the preferred parking zones, they can be immediately found and re-distributed," he said.

The company has also vowed to use more metal components in its bikes to make them harder to damage, something that had been a problem for other start-ups.

Ofo already has more than 10 million bikes in 180 cities across 13 countries, after starting in Beijing in 2014.

If successful in Adelaide, it will expand the scheme nationwide.

Source AAP

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