Author Topic: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London  (Read 2240 times)


Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 06:45:10 pm »
Doesn’t look good.

I’m not sure how well the Obikes (similar system) will work out in London. Basically the bikes are just dumped anywhere on the street, often near (as in, obstructing) existing bike racks. So either Obikes are leaving the bikes at bike racks for people to pick up, or users are instinctively drawn to bike racks as places to leave them when finished, even though there is no need.

Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 09:19:24 am »
The O-Bike rules say that the bike "should be returned to any designated public bike-parking area" once you're done with it, and threaten to penalise you for not doing so.

I reckon on-street bike racks are the closest we've got, so it's no wonder (some) users are leaving them there.

Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 09:44:03 am »
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/16/manchesters-bike-share-scheme-isnt-working-because-people-dont-know-how-to-share


 :(   Doesn't sound like this is working too well.
I wondered about the wisdom of a bike design in manchester that doesn't have mudguards. Manchester, that dry and sunny city.
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ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 10:10:15 am »
Mancunians are always damp. It's their natural state. Fighting it is pointless. As cities go, it's far too late for mudguards. Wet suits, maybe.

Given the levels of bike theft in the UK, I would question the wisdom of this scheme. Singapore, we ain't.
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Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 01:09:28 pm »
Was cycling home on Friday thro' the environs of Salford and saw a few teenagers (under 14) riding on these. It really is a free bike for them and they can dump them and get another. Cant see the scheme being viable but happy to be proven wrong

ian

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Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 07:23:14 pm »
Reminds me that I saw someone pushing a Boris Bike today that I suspect had been abstracted from the hireable fleet. Which had been cunningly been spray painted gold. Either that or it was Queen's personal Boris Bike. He didn't much look like Her Maj though. She'd have better tats for a start.
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Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 08:21:53 pm »
Reminds me that I saw someone pushing a Boris Bike today that I suspect had been abstracted from the hireable fleet. Which had been cunningly been spray painted gold. Either that or it was Queen's personal Boris Bike. He didn't much look like Her Maj though. She'd have better tats for a start.

https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2016/january/santander-cycles-expands-to-queen-elizabeth-olympic-park

Quote
London's Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, and Jessica Ennis-Hill, Santander ambassador, were at the Park today to launch the new docking stations, including some special edition gold Santander Cycles to reflect the link to the London 2012 cycling legacy.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 09:00:02 am »
It's not clear to me whether Mo, O and Yo and merely coincidental, are ripping each other off, or are part of the same company.
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ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 09:22:59 am »
Reminds me that I saw someone pushing a Boris Bike today that I suspect had been abstracted from the hireable fleet. Which had been cunningly been spray painted gold. Either that or it was Queen's personal Boris Bike. He didn't much look like Her Maj though. She'd have better tats for a start.

https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2016/january/santander-cycles-expands-to-queen-elizabeth-olympic-park

Quote
London's Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, and Jessica Ennis-Hill, Santander ambassador, were at the Park today to launch the new docking stations, including some special edition gold Santander Cycles to reflect the link to the London 2012 cycling legacy.

Alas, this was a DIY spray job with a can rather than something done by a grown up. A fair number have probably been nicked, and spraying them seems to be the stealth of choice. I've seen feral estate monkeys descending on the racks and giving each bike a yank, looking for ones that haven't been docked properly.
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Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 01:13:17 pm »
Presumably even feral estate monkeys know that spray paint won't make a Boris Bike look any less stolen, which leads to the even more bizarre conclusion that they're doing it for bling purposes...
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 01:24:15 pm »
Why steal a Boris bike? Kind of difficult to sell, so the motive must be some mix of free transport, "because it's there" and status.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Andrij

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Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 01:32:35 pm »
I've seen a pair of London hire bikes, stripped of all logos and numbers, in parts of East London rather further than your average yoof could ride out and return to a docking station within 30 minutes.  On each sighting the yoofs on the bikes and their mates seemed to be in no hurry to get anywhere, so I assume the bicycles have been 'liberated from the system'.
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 02:11:47 pm »
The London ones have been launched in areas which don't currently have Santander Cycles docking stations, a canny move by the operators. Also free rides until the end of July, although you still have to put down a £30 deposit.

Re: Mobikes in Manchester
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 02:28:11 pm »
The O-bikes arrived in large numbers in South Kensington the day after their introduction in Tower Hamlets. Today, for the first time. I saw a couple being ridden about. Maybe they will be ok as a complement to the Boris bikes - certainly a bit of competition might help to keep prices down overall.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 02:43:34 pm »
Why steal a Boris bike? Kind of difficult to sell, so the motive must be some mix of free transport, "because it's there" and status.

Just because, really. Like many stolen bikes (other than the ones targeted for resale), the owners typically use them until they break or they get nicked again.

I think they genuinely do believe spraying them and ripping off the decals renders them unidentifiable as Boris Bikes. Despite that fact that leaving them as identifiable Boris Bikes would make them look a lot less stolen. People that nick stuff aren't necessary the brightest objects in the cupboard.
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fruitcake

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Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 02:57:45 pm »
The interesting part of Mobike is the points system for users, as described in Helen Pidd's first Guardian article linked upthread. A user is given 100 points when they register. Users lose points for parking badly or leaving a mobike where it can't be hired. But they earn points for reporting bad parking, and for using Mobike bikes. More about the points here. In this way, the company has gamified user behaviour. In part, this is how they manage not having Boris-Bike-type docking stations.

I think Mobike now need to develop the game, to resolve the problems that Helen recently documented (such as people keeping Mobikes for themselves in their own front yards). Easiest part of this would be increasing the points awarded for being helpful and points docked for being unhelpful. They could also consider making points spendable outside their system. I'm not sure if points can be cashed in currently, or even whether they can be spent on Mobike hire. That's the sort of nudge that could keep the scheme functional. They've got to do something like this because, as far as I can see, that's the only handle that Mobike has on user behaviour.

Another rule might be a requirement to upload a snapshot of the bike after you've parked it. In some cases, it would be clear from that photo, in combination with the GPS data, whether the bike is on private proprty. That wouldn't be onerous, because the system requires users to have a smartphone already.

In addition to changing the game in these ways, I think Mobike could consider offering a parallel hire scheme so that users who want sole use of a bike can rent something for a defined period. That could work along the lines of Brompton dock, or indeed car hire. Those bikes wouldn't appear on the map for 'pay per ride' customers.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2017, 07:25:27 pm »
I think Mobike now need to develop the game, to resolve the problems use that Helen recently documented (such as people keeping Mobikes for themselves in their own front yards).

Is that necessarily a problem?  I mean, I've got a front yard.  There's a gate that's permanently open to prevent the wall it's supporting from falling to bits, but could be unlatched by anyone if it were closed.  I certainly wouldn't have a problem with people coming to collect a hire bike from it or even to leave one in it.

It's a well-trafficed location where people might want to use one, and a hire bike left there would be at less risk of accidental (or deliberate) damage than the traditional lamppost parking that the residential cyclists of Silly Oak often make use of...

Perhaps the solution is some small print to the effect that leaving a hire bike on private property implies permission to access the property to anyone with reasonable grounds to access the bike (ie. future hirers or maintenance staff)?  If someone attempts to hire the bike and can't get access they can flag it as an issue via the app, points are deducted and the hire company sends the lads round to liberate the 'stolen' bike.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2017, 08:23:41 pm »
A minor observation for the Obike app. It automatically records all your rides Strava style, but unlike Strava the route isn't accurate to street level but assumes a route between your start and end points. Not sure whether this is deliberate.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
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Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2017, 08:46:40 pm »
The thing is, if someone can nick something they will. And they won't much care about points. Which is why perfectly usable bikes end up in the canal, or scooters and cars burnt up by the roadside. Boris Bikes are generally difficult to nick, they're mostly in use or firmly anchored, hence the kids testing the docks for loose bikes.
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Yo recently changed their rules so that you're now supposed to leave the bikes in "a legal parking place". This is a pain because it means the bikes, which have prop stand, horseshoe lock and cable lock, so don't need any infrastructure for parking, are often left at bike racks, obstructing them for people who do need them.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2017, 09:15:38 am »
BTW, at least two Yos have made it as far as London. No, I don't know who or how!
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2017, 12:28:11 pm »
I'm a daily user of Liverpool's Citybike scheme.   Over the last few months it's been harder & harder to find a free bike in my part of the city (university area).  When I asked I was told they were having a severe problem with theft & vandalism, leading to a shortage of bikes.

Just seen the stuff below on someone's Facebook page.   

City Bikes Scheme: it looks like it's game over for Liverpool's City Bike hire scheme - the people stealing them know how to disable the trackers inside the bikes.

After that they get repainted and that's that.

IF YOU SEE ANYONE TRYING TO STEAL BIKES, call the police immediately.

These people need to be caught.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

fruitcake

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    • Bailey
Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2017, 09:21:21 am »
Selfishness of the Mobike users is the bigger problem for the journalist who wrote the articles linked upthread. Bikes were showing on the map as available, but when she got there, they were in gardens or even inside houses. Happend eight times. She knocked on the door and bollocked the guy, ninth time.

In the absence of docking stations, there'll always be the threat of theft/vandalism from people not registered with the scheme. But Mobike already has the tools to manage behaviour of registered users.