Have you recently seen the green and yellow bikes around Malden? If so, that may be because Malden has welcomed two new bike sharing programs for the public to use.
One of the companies, Ofo have been around since 2014, and are based in Beijing. They successfully operate in 180 cities, and have recently come to Malden. Ofo bikes are the yellow bikes that have a self locking mechanism, so when your riding time is up, it can lock itself without having to be at a bike rack. The bikes can be found around Malden and only cost $1 for an hour of riding. After that hour is up, you can leave the bike anywhere and it will lock itself up. In order to pay for the bike, you need to hook up a credit or debit card to the app and scan the code on the bike. After you scan the code, it will unlock the bike and you can ride for an hour.
Limebike is very similar to the Ofo bikes. They came around in January of 2017 and are based in San Mateo, California. They have a GPS tracker on the bikes, so you can go into the app and find the closest bike to you. After you find the bike, you just scan the code on the app and it also only costs $1 per hour. It has the same mechanism that Ofo has, so you can leave the bike anywhere you want and it will lock itself without having to leave it at a bike rack.
These bikes are an incredibly efficient way to make it around the city fast and cheap. When your time runs out on the bike, it will continue to charge you $1 for every hour you are on it, so if you’re only planning on using it for an hour, make sure that you are off of it and you are sure it will no longer charge you.
Both of the apps are relatively straight forward. After opening the app, it asks for a quick verification and you need to enable some things like GPS and yo
ur camera, but after that you’re done. Now all you need to do is take a photo of the code on the back and it will unlock the bike for you. The only way to get the bike to unlock is by having a credit or debit card and it will charge you $1 for every hour you are on it. If you go over your hour, it will automatically charge you more.
Mayor Gary Christenson said that he decided to make Malden the pilot for LimeBike because “[he] wanted to work with companies that could offer seamless transportation to other cities and since both LimeBike and Ofo were getting started in the area, [he] piloted with them. Kevin Duffy, the Business Development Officer along with City Councillors Ryan O’Malley and Debbie DeMaria worked with the companies so that the city could try the program for the remainder of 2017 at no cost to the City.”