Beijing-based dock-less bicycle-sharing platform Ofo today announced a series of pilot launches in 7 Indian cities including Indore, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai.
The company has already signed a MoU with the Municipal Corporations of Pune and Coimbatore for the same. Initially, the service is being offered on specific campuses and closed communities.
Rajarshi Sahai, Director of Public Policy & Communications, Ofo said: “Through these localised launches we look forward to providing people with a taste of an ‘easy-to-use’ bicycle-sharing experience and educate them about various benefits associated with cycling. With overcrowded cities and unprecedented pollution levels, India is ripe for a cycling revolution and we wish to aid that by providing a healthier, quicker, and greener alternative to motor vehicles.”
He further added, “Our bicycles are technology enabled and accessible via our app that supports more than 32 million daily rides. In India, we will be supported by the popular wallet Paytm to ensure seamless transactions for our users. Global quality standards ensure our bicycles are light, robust and a joy to ride.”
Founded in 2014 by former Peking University students Xue Dong, Zhang Siding, Yang Pinjie, Yu Xin, Dai Wei, Ofo currently operates in over 250 cities across 20 countries. The company claims to generate 32 million transactions daily and has provided over 200 million global users with 6 billion efficient, convenient and green rides, reduced over 3.24 million tons of PM2.5 emissions.
Ofo has also announced its partnership with e-payment service company Paytm, which is also backed by Alibaba, to make it easy for customers to pay for rides. Notably, Paytm was also the first wallet to tie up with ride-hailing giant Uber in India when the company was looking for alternatives to accepting cash payments.
Kiran Vasireddy, COO – Paytm said, “Building a sustainable low emission last-mile transportation system & addressing congestion issues is a key need in our country. We are excited to partner with ofo Bikes to power seamless mobile payments for its bike sharing service in India. Paytm is committed to building the best payments infrastructure in India & we are happy to bring the latest payment innovations in the public transportation domain. This partnership will make it a lot more convenient for citizens to access ofo’s short distance transportation solutions.”
While this has involved Ofo teaming up with selected gated communities and institutions in supporting their cycling infrastructure on a campus-scale for now, it plans to gradually scale up. The aim for Ofo is to be one of the preferred modes of transportation within Indian cities for first and last mile commute, contributing to lower carbon emissions and better health for commuters and city dwellers alike.