Bike-share startup seeks per­mits

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Chi­nese bike-share startup Blue­gogo, which had planned to fill San Fran­cisco’s pub­lic bike racks with rental bi­cy­cles, is seek­ing per­mits af­ter drawingaback­lash­from­c­itylead­ers.

The Bei­jing-based com­pany has re­cently faced re­sis­tance in its firstUS mar­ket— San Fran­cisco, which is home to other share-econ­omy in­no­va­tions like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.

Dif­fer­ent from other bike­share pro­grams, Blue­gogo’s bikes are equipped with smart locks and GPS sys­tems, which al­low rid­ers to lo­cate and un­lock the bikes us­ing their smart­phones and leave them at any pub­lic bike rack with­out lock­ing. The ser­vice costs only 99 cents per half hour.

The com­pany had planned to launch the pro­gram last month, but city lead­ers vowed to im­pound their bi­cy­cles and fine the com­pany if they went ahead with­out per­mis­sion.

City of­fi­cials, who have re­ferred to Blue­gogo as a “rogue” com­pany, were wor­ried that the com­pany would dump tens of thou­sands of bikes that would clut­ter pub­lic side­walks. Blue­gogo does not re­veal how many bi­cy­cles it plans to de­posit in the city.

At a press con­fer­ence on Jan 18 su­per­vi­sor Aaron Pe­skin said:“Ev­ery sin­gle time, these ar­ro­gant tech com­pa­nies ask later for for­give­ness, or ask later for per­mis­sion. This is the first time where San Fran­cisco has got­ten ahead of the curve.”

Ilya Movshovich, Blue­gogo’s vice-pres­i­dent of US op­er­a­tions, told China Daily in an email: “We’d still re­ally like to come to an agree­ment with the city re­gard­ing the use of pub­lic racks.” “We last met with the city on Jan 25 and are still wait­ing to hear back on what per­mits might be needed. In the next week, we will be bring­ing out more bikes to be housed at our rented-out sta­tions.”

We’d still re­ally like to come to an agree­ment with the city re­gard­ing the use of pub­lic racks.”

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