Economy

The Chinese bicycle sharing service in Spain

The Chinese bicycle sharing service in SpainOfo has already arrived in Spain, the first Chinese bicycle rental service located in the country. The lease for travel is made through the use of a mobile phone app and works without the need for fixed stations.

The pilot phase of the company will have 110 bicycles available for interested users.

If the Chinese have experience in something, it is precisely in the implementation of the bicycle as a means of mass transportation. But Ofo has not only taken on the management of the daily dynamics of Beijing: Spain is the 15th country that the company has arrived in.

The pilot project will start in Madrid. The first batch of 110 bicycles will be available in the neighbourhoods of Las Tablas, Usera and Salamanca. The best thing is the cost of the service: 50 euro cents for each half hour travelled.

The Chinese come to perfect the market

It must be said that Ofo is not the first company offering this service in Spain. For some years now we have had oBike from Singapore and Donkey Bike, a medium-sized Danish company that is located in at least 4 Spanish communities.

However, the truth is that this type of company has not positioned itself in Madrid until the arrival of Ofo. Both oBike and Donkey Bike are strong competitors in Barcelona, and both have plans to expand to Málaga, Valencia and Seville.

But Ofo would be the first major project to rent bicycles for the capital. Obviously, the Chinese company faces the challenge of feeding a market that has only been moderately exploited by Trixi, a local company that operates with Donkey Bike.

How does this rental system work?

Users must download a mobile application that will help determine the geolocation of the bicycle. Within the same app, they can unlock the electronic lock by scanning the QR code of the chosen bike.

Payments will be made through charges made to the credit card. Everything will depend on the distance travelled, having as standard 50 cents per half hour travelled. At the end of the trip, you can leave the bicycle in any area.

It should be noted that in Madrid you cannot leave a bicycle parked anywhere. For this, there are permitted areas, which are planned in compliance with municipal regulations.

The neighbours: challenge for conciliation

What must be made clear is that the Madrid market has its challenges. The problem does not come from the municipality, who rather has tried to promote this type of project as a sustainable alternative. Nor is it about anti-tourism citizens, but about the neighbours who demand public parking places.

Madrid is a city where there are many cars and not so many free places to park. Considering this, Ofo’s main strength lies in the fact that its bicycles will not have a fixed base. That, and the approval of the city’s town hall, will be the pillars on which the Chinese company will be built.

The commercial cooperation between China and Spain is already well known and obvious. The Ofo project is part of this trend and seems willing to dominate the market at the national level.

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