Confusion over way cycle hire scheme works
THE new bike rental scheme is proving popular in Manchester - but there’s still some confusion over how it works.
Mobikes bosses say the fact the bicycles are dockless – unlike London’s Boris bikes – is puzzling some people and leading to reports to police that they have been ‘stolen’ or ‘abandoned’.
One user said that she went to pick up a bike only to be informed by a nearby homeowner that they’d called 999.
Ella Wredenfors, a Mobike user from Chorlton, said she found a bike on the app’s GPS map and was about to unlock it when she was warned away by a neighbour.
Ella said: “It was parked up just outside a house in Chorlton.
“When I went to move it, the owner stuck their head out the window and shouted at me.
“They said it was a dumped stolen bike and because the alarm went off when she tried to move it she called the police.
“I tried to explain, but she wasn’t listening to me and just kept saying the police were coming. So I found another Mobike to use.
“I think some people are really confused about how they work.” Our sister ●● paper the M.E.N. reported on Tuesday how there have been 17 reports of ‘Mobike issues’ since they were launched two weeks ago.
But the bike share firm says some ‘abandoned’ reports have come after users have parked them up in a public place, and within the Mobike rules.
Mobikes differ from Boris bikes in that they are dockless. With a wheel lock accessed through the app on your smartphone, they can be left in public places for the next user.
As long as they are not left in the way of traffic, in public buildings or on thoroughfares, the system allows a lot of flexibility. A spokesman for Mobike said people had embraced the service, with up to 10 rides per bike per day since the launch.
They said: “A number of the reports have been related to suspected – and mistaken – bike abandonment, reported by those unfamiliar with Mobike’s dockless sharing system. We have received strong support from GMP, as well as local councils, and will be continuing to work closely with both to ensure our scheme continues to best serve local communities and business in Greater Manchester.”
The new Mobikes