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Mobike saddles up in DC with affordable rides

By Dong Leshuo in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-09-21 11:33

Mobike, one of the world's largest smart bike-sharing companies, rode into its first US city - Washington - on Wednesday.

Washington DC Mobike's first home in North America," said Hu Weiwei, CEO of Mobike.

The dockless bikes, which cost $1 to rent for 30 minutes, are placed in key downtown locations, such as Dupont Circle and McPherson Square, near numerous office buildings. They also show up at places where many tourists go, such as near the National Mall.

By using the Mobike app, people can find a nearby Mobike and scan its QR code to unlock and ride.

Tom Yan, who works in the Dupont Circle area, rushed to try a Mobike. He has known about them for a long time from families and friends in China and finally got to experience one in Washington.

"I'm on my lunch break, and I saw the news that Mobike is coming to DC. So I thought I'd walk around Dupont Circle to see if I can find one. I've never tried Capital Bikeshare before, because I think that's expensive, so it's very exciting to have Mobike in DC," Yan said.

Every Mobike is equipped with GPS technology to leverage real-time trip and city data to better serve users and cities.

Changes were made to the bicycle to specifically serve DC, including its shape and the addition of several gears.

"Mobike is committed to developing a global bike share culture by collaborating closely with cities, and the US capital is key in achieving this. We look forward to working with more cities across the nation to make cycling the most convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly transportation option for residents and tourists alike," Hu said.

Rachel Song, general manager of Mobike US, said: "We are working with a number of cities across the country and are confident this successful pilot will be the first of many partnerships, allowing us to make cycling the most convenient and affordable choice for transportation all around America."

The company said it uses data analytics to not only monitor the condition of each bike and allocate its fleet across the city depending on traffic, weather and other variables - but also to support city planners, local businesses and authorities in a variety of smart urban planning projects.

Mobike officially launched its service in Shanghai in April 2016, and has since expanded to 180 cities globally.

The company now operates more than 7 million smart bikes and supports some 25 million rides every day.

As of August, Mobike users have collectively cycled more than 5.6 billion kilometers, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 1.26 million tons, or the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road for a year.

Yuan Yuan in Washington contributed to the story.

Mobike saddles up in DC with affordable rides

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