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China's Mobike arrives in Britain's Manchester

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-30 11:27

China's Mobike arrives in Britain's Manchester

A user rides Mobike's shared bikes in Manchester. [Photo provided to China Daily]

LONDON - Mobike, one of China's largest bike-sharing companies, launched its service in the Greater Manchester, Britain, on Thursday.

With up to 1,000 bikes planned to be put into use in Manchester and Salford, some were unloaded overnight to key locations, such as main train stations, major throughways, as well as vibrant destinations for food, retail, leisure, and entertainment.

Supported by the Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, this is the first and only bike-sharing scheme currently in Manchester. Mobike hopes that its bikes' iconic silver and orange look will soon become part of the city's main transport network.

Working with local councils and companies, Mobike has tried to take a community-oriented approach for its 100th City launch globally and its first European arrival.

A local logistics firm and some organizations will help to redistribute the bikes to key points of high-demand, while ensuring the bikes are in top conditions.

Andrew Taylor, travel plan manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: "At Manchester Metropolitan we are very excited about the launch of the Mobike scheme. We are working closely with Mobike to ensure the scheme can be effortlessly accessed by our staff and students. The scheme will potentially mean that cycling becomes a more convenient and affordable way to travel, and we are optimistic that Mobike will support the greater uptake of cycling in the city."

The deposit for the bikes is 49 pounds and fully refundable. For the special month of July, Mobike will offer a discounted 29-pound deposit to users. Usage is charged at 50 pence per 30mins.

Using specially designed bikes equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, Mobike enables users of its smartphone app to find a bike near them, reserve and unlock it. After reaching their destination, the user parks the bike by the roadside and locks it, automatically making the bike available to the next rider.

The company officially launched its service in Shanghai in April 2016, and in just over a year, has since expanded the service to 130 cities globally.

Earlier this year, Ofo, a rival company of Mobike in China, has launched 20 bikes in Cambridge.

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