What to Know
- Beijing based ofo has pulled its bike share program in Camden, New Jersey.
- This abrupt decision comes to the surprise of city officials.
- The company cites its focus on growth in valuable markets as the reason for the decision.
A new bike-sharing service in Camden has come to an abrupt end.
The pilot program launched in May was supposed to continue through year's end. But the Courier-Post reports the early termination is part of a broader pullback in the U.S. market by the program's operator, Beijing-based ofo.
The program allowed riders to unlock ofo bikes with a smartphone app and ride them for $1 an hour. The bikes didn't have docking stations and were equipped with GPS units that tracked their use. Ofo provided liability service in the event of a crash.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Since the launch of the bike share on May 1, the bikes have operated 24/7 for residents of Camden. Camden was the lowest average income city to host a bikeshare program in the United States.
The bike share app ofo has provided nearly 11 billion rides worldwide and over one million in the United States according to its website. However, the company's closures stem from their new focus to prioritize growth in viable markets.
Kris Kolluri, president and CEO of the Cooper's Ferry Partnership, a nonprofit that oversees redevelopment efforts in the city, said he's "deeply disappointed" to see the program end. He learned of its demise Thursday.
While ofo has backed out of Camden, city officials hope the valuable information they've learned in the two months will lead to a new bike share program in the future.