Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: andrewc on July 06, 2017, 02:47:22 pm

Title: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: andrewc on July 06, 2017, 02:47:22 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2017/jul/06/manchester-mobike-review-better-than-londons-boris-bikes

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/mobike-manchester-how-it-works-13248743

Another public bike scheme.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester etc
Post by: andrewc on July 16, 2017, 06:08:16 pm
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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Sergeant Pluck 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: jsabine 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: mrcharly-YHT 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: ian 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: pumpkin 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
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: ian 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: Kim 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Cudzoziemiec 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: ian 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Kim 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...
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Cudzoziemiec 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Andrij 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'.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: telstarbox 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester
Post by: Sergeant Pluck 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: ian 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: fruitcake 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 (https://mobike.com/sg/faq#faq8). 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Kim 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: telstarbox 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: ian 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London and Yobikes in Bristol and
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 19, 2017, 09:15:02 am
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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Cudzoziemiec 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!
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: andrewc 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: fruitcake 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.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on July 21, 2017, 09:53:35 am
Saw my first O-bike, in the grounds of Kingston University.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Steph on July 21, 2017, 10:26:49 am
When I was riding through Frederukshavn they has a Boris-style bike scheme. Speaking to the tourist info people, they said a very large proportion had 'left' the system and were being kept for private use, such as kids going to school. The authorities' attitude was "Well, as long as people are on bikes"

What was harder for them to bear was that a lot of kids insisted on, er, testing the performance envelope by jumping the bikes. Enough said.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: fruitcake on July 21, 2017, 11:21:15 am
Yes, I guess it is a sign of success. That's why Mobike should legitimise it, through a 'long term hire' deal.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: ian on July 21, 2017, 11:40:25 am
Given we have an endemic problem with bike theft (not to mention vandalism), any system that depends on them not being nicked is doomed, alas, to failure.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Exit Stage Left on July 21, 2017, 12:06:26 pm
Quote
"My White Bicycle" is Tomorrow's debut single. According to Tomorrow drummer John 'Twink' Alder, the song was inspired by the Dutch Provos, an anarchist group in Amsterdam which instituted a community bicycle program: "they had white bicycles in Amsterdam and they used to leave them around the town. And if you were going somewhere and you needed to use a bike, you'd just take the bike and you'd go somewhere and just leave it. Whoever needed the bikes would take them and leave them when they were done."

That was 50 years ago. Most of the bikes ended up in the canals. Nazareth did a cover in 1975.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 21, 2017, 01:04:30 pm
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/people-locking-yobikes-up-houses-82514

And also...

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/whats-on/bristol-naked-bike-ride-cyclists-90764
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on July 21, 2017, 01:04:42 pm
I can't see this working out in London long-term. The bikes are just getting dumped all over the place.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/cycle-hire-company-obike-accused-of-littering-londons-streets-as-bikes-vandalised-a3593161.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40611659
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 21, 2017, 02:12:47 pm
"White Bicycles" is also the title of the autobiography of noted 60s record producer Joe Boyd, trivia fans.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: inappropriate_bike on July 24, 2017, 05:37:51 am
It's clear that the scheme can work - because it does in Guanghzhou.

The people there are no less petty, larcenous or devious than the people here and they've had the same problems with bikes being stored in private areas, dumped inconsiderately, or stolen.

Yet the whole city is cycling whereas a few years ago you only really saw cars. Whatever minor problems result it's made the city much nicer.

I think what really helped was getting to such a scale that they could employ large teams to tidy up behind their users. That'll be around 8 times more expensive to achieve here than in Gz.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Si S on July 24, 2017, 12:57:40 pm
Spotting Mobikes in unlikely places is my latest game on my commute, this morning's was in a trench Stretford, the best so far has been up a tree in Whitworth Park.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: telstarbox on July 24, 2017, 03:16:11 pm
I think if Obike replaced the bikes with something a bit better the scheme could really take off, but this might also fundamentally change the economics/pricing of it.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Andrij on July 24, 2017, 09:25:56 pm
I've seen Obikes all around London - even east of the Lea - and heard of one spotted up on Blackheath.  But has anyone seen one being ridden?  Admittedly, I travel outside of traditional commuting times, but I have yet to see one of these bicycles in use.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: ian on July 25, 2017, 05:58:39 pm
I saw one parked in the middle of the pavement by Myatt's Field. Literally in the middle, which was a bit odd, because the stand was down and it was locked, like someone had got half way down the road and given up. Or they'd decided to enter the park by climbing over the railings.

Another in Croydon. Two lads, one on an Obike and one on a de-labelled Boris Bike, both barrelling along the pavement in a manner that suggested they'd just nicked something and didn't giving anyone the opportunity to ask for it back , so I suspect it wasn't being used in quite the way the organizers intend.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Jurek on July 26, 2017, 12:21:16 pm
Just clocked this one
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4319/35338369494_c6c6914271_b.jpg)
In sunny Forest Hill - which is a fair distance from central Londres to be riding what looks to be a heavy bike.
And that bike could not have been placed where it is without encountering hill(s).
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on July 26, 2017, 12:47:39 pm
I've seen Obikes all around London - even east of the Lea - and heard of one spotted up on Blackheath.  But has anyone seen one being ridden?  Admittedly, I travel outside of traditional commuting times, but I have yet to see one of these bicycles in use.

Me:

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.

I note that they have mostly disappeared from South Ken now. That might be due to the councils' intervention (or Hammersmith and Fulham at least) but I suspect they have just been ridden off to the boonies as emergency transport and left there. I don't think the Obikes have Santander's huge redistribution network to bring the bikes to where they are needed.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 05, 2017, 08:10:20 pm
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/cyclists-fury-after-more-than-100-obike-hire-cycles-are-seized-in-clampdown-a3604771.html?amp

Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 22, 2017, 10:35:35 am
Belfast's scheme is popular but struggling due to predation:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41002467

That's an interesting link up with See.Sense, NI's "smart" bike light maker. Philip McAleese is an all round good egg.

I wonder what information the sensors are able to gather regarding near miss events:

Quote
"Use of sensor technology allows us to collect never-before-seen data from bikes, including road surface and near-miss events," said the chief executive of See.Sense, Philip McAleese.

Some kind of proximity sensor??
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Kim on August 22, 2017, 12:36:20 pm
Some kind of proximity sensor??

Be interesting if it is.  Presumably also an accelerometer (which have become so cheap they're cropping up in all sorts of weird places).
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 22, 2017, 04:01:42 pm
Can't find anything about near misses, but dc rainmaker's review mentions combining phone GPS data with the accelerometer in the see.sense light light to build pothole maps.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/10/hands-smart-lights.html

Still off-topic on the light, the ability to have your light switch off / turn on as you leave / approach your bike has appeal:

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/see-sense-icon-led-flashers-get-smarter-and-brighter-45509/

Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: telstarbox on August 22, 2017, 04:38:26 pm
A lot of the Obikes in my part of London seem to have disappeared - only see the odd one or two on back streets now.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Pedal Castro on August 22, 2017, 06:57:39 pm
It's clear that the scheme can work - because it does in Guanghzhou.

The people there are no less petty, larcenous or devious than the people here and they've had the same problems with bikes being stored in private areas, dumped inconsiderately, or stolen.

Yet the whole city is cycling whereas a few years ago you only really saw cars. Whatever minor problems result it's made the city much nicer.

I think what really helped was getting to such a scale that they could employ large teams to tidy up behind their users. That'll be around 8 times more expensive to achieve here than in Gz.

I wasn't working too well in Xiamen when I was there earlier this year, I tried to use it but although I saw quite a few in use, all the stationary ones were O/S.  In both my visits to Guangzhou this year I didn't notice any of the bike schemes either in use or at rest.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 22, 2017, 08:39:29 pm
A lot of the Obikes in my part of London seem to have disappeared - only see the odd one or two on back streets now.

I think they have just adjusted the number of bikes to be more in line with the number of people actually riding them. I’m seeing fewer O-bikes, but they are in more useful parking places, with an air of having been ridden there, as opposed to an air of having been dumped in piles out of the back of a lorry. 
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Si S on August 23, 2017, 09:59:32 am
I saw them being collected up for re-distribution yesterday, I bet that bike trailer takes some effort and skill to tow about, it was mahoosive.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester & Obikes
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 08, 2017, 09:22:55 pm
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.
I've now noticed that on the back of the Yos, on the QR code sticker, it refers to an "Oh bike".
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: telstarbox on September 13, 2017, 11:07:45 am
Two more launches in London, both apparently with the blessing of the local authority:

Waltham Forest - Urbo

https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/content/urbo%E2%80%99s-dockless-bikes-wheel-waltham-forest

Ealing - Mobike (the same operator as in Manchester).

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/09/more-bike-sharing-for-part-of-london-launches-today/
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 01, 2017, 07:42:24 pm
https://instagram.com/p/BZrm_FzFFnp/

A Yo bike plus rider disappearing into Bristol docks.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Si S on November 15, 2017, 07:26:45 pm
So mobike comes to an end (http://road.cc/content/news/232287-all-1000-mobikes-removed-manchester-theyll-be-back-and-greater-numbers) in Manchester, apparently it'll be back but the coverage will basically be the city centre, won't even run as far as the uni on the flagship cycle route. Seems a bit pointless.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: andrewc on November 25, 2017, 09:33:45 am
(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/c217fdc4f8ce3df1ae171ccfcda6e0e8007676dc/64_0_2666_1600/master/2666.jpg?w=860&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=ab37dd3b67378e4e1422ddbf02d34c15)


Not too popular in China either.  https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/25/chinas-bike-share-graveyard-a-monument-to-industrys-arrogance
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 15, 2017, 06:29:51 pm
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4689/25207765658_32e9fd270f_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Epwovh)
Yo no mo!
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: telstarbox on January 25, 2018, 11:38:56 am
There are also now Ofo bikes in London which are yellow/black. The scheme is apparently with the blessing of Hackney and Islington councils.

https://www.hackney.gov.uk/bike-sharing
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: DuncanM on January 25, 2018, 08:20:49 pm
Oxford has yellow Ofo bikes, teal Pony bikes and grey/orange Mobikes (which look extra funky with mag single sided wheels). Apparently there are also oBikes, but I don't think I've seen any them about the place.
There was also a docked bike scheme, but I think that one failed.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: telstarbox on March 28, 2018, 08:37:42 pm
Seeing more and more Ofos and Mobikes around inner London every week.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: pumpkin on March 29, 2018, 12:59:56 pm
Plenty of Mobikes down here @ salford quays but then they seem scattered throughout the Salford area.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: markcjagar on March 29, 2018, 06:03:54 pm
I keep seeing ofos in the canal near Meadowhall in Sheffield, is there a word that means "funny sad"?
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: arabella on April 03, 2018, 09:12:26 pm
I noticed today that something called 'Urbo' has arrived in Ipswich.  Green and silver, fwiw.
50p/half hour aiui.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Kim on September 05, 2018, 12:52:17 pm
Crime-hit Mobike suspends Manchester sharing scheme (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-45422065)
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: pumpkin on September 05, 2018, 02:18:12 pm
I was watching the Irwell having MoBikes retrieved from it in Salford recently.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: Torslanda on September 08, 2018, 07:19:58 pm
I was told that the scrotes would snap the sidestand off the bike and use it to batter the lock off. When they got bored of riding around at 4 - 6 mph they would repurpose the bike into a watercraft or art installation (depends whether it floated) by throwing it into one of several water courses spread liberally about the city centre.

The minority win again. I doubt I would ever have used the scheme but it would have been nice to have it on the city's CV.
Title: Re: Mobikes in Manchester and Obikes in London
Post by: ian on September 10, 2018, 09:24:38 am
There seem to be more knocking around London and I have seen the occasional one in what looks like legitimate use (as opposed to estate monkeys bombing between crime scenes as a prelude to it ending up mangled on a street corner or in a canal). It still to be a minority in legitimate use which, as business models go, isn't the most effective. Still, post-Brexit we might be able to eat them. The bikes, not the estate kids. When The Desperate Times come, the estate kids will probably eat us.
Title: Lime E-bike
Post by: citoyen on January 10, 2019, 09:35:40 am
This week, I've just started seeing these Lime E-bikes around the place in That London - dockless hire bikes in the mould of Mobike/Ofo but with electric assist. Interesting.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/dockless-electric-bike-scheme-arrives-in-london-a4010041.html

Coincidentally, I've been pondering recently whether the Santander hire bikes should go electric. It would make a lot of sense for users, and the docking stations could act as charging points. On the other hand, I imagine the costs involved in converting the bikes and docking stations would be phenomenal.

For a dockless hire bike scheme to go electric seems a whole other level of logistical nightmare. They're depending on the accuracy and reliability of GPS to be able to track them down when they need recharging. A GPS signal is not always a given in London - especially if the bikes are taken inside buildings...

Has anyone tried one yet? I'm minded to give them a go, just to see what they're like.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 01:28:11 pm
This week, I've just started seeing these Lime E-bikes around the place in That London - dockless hire bikes in the mould of Mobike/Ofo but with electric assist. Interesting.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/dockless-electric-bike-scheme-arrives-in-london-a4010041.html

Coincidentally, I've been pondering recently whether the Santander hire bikes should go electric. It would make a lot of sense for users, and the docking stations could act as charging points. On the other hand, I imagine the costs involved in converting the bikes and docking stations would be phenomenal.

Weren't there noises about them rolling out some e-bikes as an expansion into hillier areas?  I assume the money didn't happen...


Quote
For a dockless hire bike scheme to go electric seems a whole other level of logistical nightmare. They're depending on the accuracy and reliability of GPS to be able to track them down when they need recharging. A GPS signal is not always a given in London - especially if the bikes are taken inside buildings...

Well they're not relying on GPS alone.  They've also got contact details and credit card authorisation for the person who last used the bike, so if a bike disappears they can get someone to un-disappear or pay for it.

I expect vandalism is a greater concern.


Quote
I'm minded to give them a go, just to see what they're like.

:thumbsup:

Easily hired e-bikes should be a great way to get more people trying them (and hopefully discovering that they're a really practical form of transport).
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: citoyen on January 10, 2019, 01:28:47 pm
I've downloaded the app. Looks quite good. It shows you the location of bikes and also how much charge they have remaining in the battery, which is handy:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7838/32813833698_c954bb0f81_z.jpg)

To unlock the bike, you scan a QR code.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: citoyen on January 10, 2019, 01:32:29 pm
Weren't there noises about them rolling out some e-bikes as an expansion into hillier areas?  I assume the money didn't happen...

Haven't heard that one, but it seems a bit of a no-brainer - as long as they can get the funds...


Quote
Well they're not relying on GPS alone.  They've also got contact details and credit card authorisation for the person who last used the bike, so if a bike disappears they can get someone to un-disappear or pay for it.

They need to be able to prove that the last person to use the bike was the one who made it disappear though, right? I mean, you could just say someone came along and threw it in the back of a lead-lined van just after you finished your session, and how would they prove otherwise? (To answer my own question, I suppose in London the answer to that is CCTV.)

Quote
I expect vandalism is a greater concern.

True.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: hellymedic on January 10, 2019, 01:36:34 pm
They've been in Brent around a month.

Pretty pricy at £2 to unlock + 15p/min.

I don't think they're getting many takers.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 10, 2019, 01:44:52 pm
The GPS isn't going to be much use once it's taken out of the bike, which is presumably no harder than with any other dockless (or even docking) hire bike. But I'd have thought collecting them all in for recharging is the biggest logistical problem. Presumably they'll have some sort of van which they can charge them in while they ferry them to wherever.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 01:48:15 pm
They've been in Brent around a month.

Pretty pricy at £2 to unlock + 15p/min.

I don't think they're getting many takers.

That doesn't compare favourably to London bus fares, does it?  It doesn't even compare favourably to Birmingham bus fares, TBH.

Tourists would use it, of course, but Brent isn't ideal in that respect.  I'm sure you'll get plenty of people 'having a go' simply because they're novel, but I reckon that's more likely to send them to the e-bike shop than create regular users.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 01:49:00 pm
The GPS isn't going to be much use once it's taken out of the bike, which is presumably no harder than with any other dockless (or even docking) hire bike. But I'd have thought collecting them all in for recharging is the biggest logistical problem. Presumably they'll have some sort of van which they can charge them in while they ferry them to wherever.

I assume someone rocks up in a van, removes the bat flattery and slides in a fully charged one, leaving the bike where it is unless it needs repairing or re-locating to somewhere less stupid.  The great thing about e-bikes (and electric motor scooters[1], for that matter) is that the batteries are small enough to do that with.


[1] Which I believe are a thing in ABROAD, where the FOREIGNS have less restrictive licencing requirements for users of low-power motorcycles.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: grams on January 10, 2019, 01:50:00 pm
A portion of the Paris Velibs are electric now. They had to rebuild all of the docking stations to make it happen though.

There's no appetite in London to spend more money on the Santander scheme - it's expensive for the number of journeys taken.

Quote
To answer my own question, I suppose in London the answer to that is CCTV

Have you ever actually tried to get CCTV footage - the chances of finding a camera pointing in exactly the right direction, in working order and tracking down the owner and getting the footage off them before it's auto-erased is not good. Going through plod makes it even less likely to happen in time. And even if you are successful, you have blurry footage of unrecognisable people doing something you already knew happenned...

As far as I know the Lime model depends on making their money back before the bike is disappeared. Or not making their money back and filling in the gap with endless venture capital. In other countries Lime manage to run a business renting much more disappearable electric micro scooters (which are illegal to use on the street here) rather than bikes, apparently at not-enough-of-a-loss to have gone out of business yet.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 10, 2019, 01:54:46 pm
The GPS isn't going to be much use once it's taken out of the bike, which is presumably no harder than with any other dockless (or even docking) hire bike. But I'd have thought collecting them all in for recharging is the biggest logistical problem. Presumably they'll have some sort of van which they can charge them in while they ferry them to wherever.

I assume someone rocks up in a van, removes the bat flattery and slides in a fully charged one, leaving the bike where it is.  The great thing about e-bikes (and electric motor scooters[1], for that matter) is that the batteries are small enough to do that with.


[1] Which I believe are a thing in ABROAD, where the FOREIGNS have less restrictive licencing requirements for users of low-power motorcycles.
Yes, that would make sense. Assuming they find more than a gps chip on the ground, of course!

Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 01:58:24 pm
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 10, 2019, 02:04:52 pm
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Confused there. By "non-kick scooters" do you mean the ones that are like electrified kid's toy scooters or the ones that are basically electric mopeds? If the former, I've only seen them used by young-ish people, and often on the road. Interesting if Brum e-scootists should be so different. But thinking about it you must mean the others, cos the first type involve standing.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: citoyen on January 10, 2019, 02:07:19 pm
I assume someone rocks up in a van, removes the bat flattery and slides in a fully charged one, leaving the bike where it is unless it needs repairing or re-locating to somewhere less stupid.

Yes, the battery is stored in an open-ended compartment on the rear rack, so presumably can be swapped easily.

Just been out for a test ride:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2068812958

First impressions: Nice. Much more fun to ride than the Santander bikes - the main advantage being the way they effortlessly accelerate away from a standing start at junctions and traffic lights (as you'd expect of an e-bike).

That cost me £2.20 for 8 minutes, so yes, they're certainly not cheap, but for short journeys, I'd far rather use one of those than a London bus. I've paid my £90 for a year's subscription to the Santander bikes, so I'll continue using those for the most part (my journeys are always under 30 minutes, so effectively free). But the Lime bikes certainly look like a decent option for when I CBA to make an effort.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: citoyen on January 10, 2019, 02:10:51 pm
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Confused there. By "non-kick scooters" do you mean the ones that are like electrified kid's toy scooters or the ones that are basically electric mopeds? If the former, I've only seen them used by young-ish people, and often on the road. Interesting if Brum e-scootists should be so different. But thinking about it you must mean the others, cos the first type involve standing.

If Kim means the electrified kids' toys, I've seen a lot of those about - they're very popular with commuters as they can be folded to take on the train, and unlike e-bikes they require no effort input from the user. And yes, they do get ridden mostly on the pavement. I'm sure it won't be long before the Daily Mail does a piece on the electric scooter terrorists making our streets a living hell.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 02:11:22 pm
Electric motor scooters are very much a thing here too, although not so much as electric kick-along scooters, which of course you don't kick along. I suspect most users regard them as more convenient e-bikes, so no licence.

Yes, I'm seeing a lot more of those non-kick scooters around (mostly on the pavement).  They seem to appeal to the yoof who don't quite have the nerve for electric skateboards, but I've seen a couple being used by what you'd normally consider to be the mobility scooter demographic.
Confused there. By "non-kick scooters" do you mean the ones that are like electrified kid's toy scooters or the ones that are basically electric mopeds? If the former, I've only seen them used by young-ish people, and often on the road. Interesting if Brum e-scootists should be so different. But thinking about it you must mean the others, cos the first type involve standing.

Yeah, the electrified kids toy standing ones.  (Though I have seen some with some sort of minimal seat on a very flimsy looking post much like the handlebars are attached to.  I expect the whole thing would fall to bits if you hit a decent pothole.)

Electric mopeds not so much, though I did see (briefly, I was driving a car) something the other day that appeared to be halfway between a small-wheeled fatbike and a vintage-looking motorcycle.

In Brum, roads are for cars, lycra-clad cyclists, and the occasional brave sk8er d00d.  Muggles almost exclusively ride their bikes and non-legal faster-than-walking electric contraptions on the pavement.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: bludger on January 10, 2019, 02:17:54 pm
I remarked to someone the other day that the way to make these really viable would be to make them strong enough to carry two. In flat towns and cities that makes the bargain pretty attractive IMO.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: teethgrinder on January 10, 2019, 02:23:18 pm
The GPS isn't going to be much use once it's taken out of the bike, which is presumably no harder than with any other dockless (or even docking) hire bike. But I'd have thought collecting them all in for recharging is the biggest logistical problem. Presumably they'll have some sort of van which they can charge them in while they ferry them to wherever.

I assume someone rocks up in a van, removes the bat flattery and slides in a fully charged one, leaving the bike where it is unless it needs repairing or re-locating to somewhere less stupid.  The great thing about e-bikes (and electric motor scooters[1], for that matter) is that the batteries are small enough to do that with.


[1] Which I believe are a thing in ABROAD, where the FOREIGNS have less restrictive licencing requirements for users of low-power motorcycles.

We have Lime E bikes in Milton Keynes and I think that's the current situation here now. But the idea is to have an e cargo bike loaded with batteries to do battery replacements. I know this because I (and Bikeabilityman) signed up to ride the cargo bikes and replace batteries. The Lime HQ fro Milton Keynes is about half a mile from my home.
However, they cost £1 to release and IIRC 15p per minute to ride, which makes them about the same cost as a bus. Plus they seem to reside at local shops and the town centre. Just as with the Santander hire bikes, if I wanted to use one, I'd have to walk about half a mile , probably in the wrong direction, to get to a bike or walk over half way to the town to pick one up on the way at the train station. It's only a quarter of a mile to the bus stop and the bus costs the same as a Lime.
I signed up via an agency to ride the e cargo bike a few months ago and haven't heard from them yet. I heard from Bikeabilityman that he was on standby to replace batteries but has never been called out because the bikes aren't being ridden. That does seem to be the case. I see more Santander hire bikes ridden and they aren't ridden all that much. It's about 25 out of 75 if I encounter a Lime bike being ridden on my travels and even then, I'm probably being generous. I rarely see 2 being ridden. I wonder if they get stolen as well because I've seen one with the front light not working. The Santander bikes do end up going rogue. I've even seen one parked outside the tent of a homeless person, which I thought was good. At least the homeless can have a free bike!
I think they're partly too expensive and also need to be located around housing estates more, though that could mean some ending up in garages and homes where they can be fettled so that the GPSs and security can be removed....

Shame, I was looking forward to riding around Milton Keynes on an e cargo bike and getting paid for it...
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: hellymedic on January 10, 2019, 03:04:36 pm
They've been in Brent around a month.

Pretty pricy at £2 to unlock + 15p/min.

I don't think they're getting many takers.

That doesn't compare favourably to London bus fares, does it?  It doesn't even compare favourably to Birmingham bus fares, TBH.

Tourists would use it, of course, but Brent isn't ideal in that respect.  I'm sure you'll get plenty of people 'having a go' simply because they're novel, but I reckon that's more likely to send them to the e-bike shop than create regular users.

Seem abandoned, unloved and ignored, from what I've seen.

I'll ask David if he has seen any being ridden. He has not said he has so I doubt there are many in use.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 03:19:22 pm
However, they cost £1 to release and IIRC 15p per minute to ride, which makes them about the same cost as a bus. Plus they seem to reside at local shops and the town centre. Just as with the Santander hire bikes, if I wanted to use one, I'd have to walk about half a mile , probably in the wrong direction, to get to a bike or walk over half way to the town to pick one up on the way at the train station.

Same issue as with the Brompton Docks - there are a couple of them in central Birmingham, in convenient locations for those arriving at the mainline railway stations.  Which makes them useful for visitors, or people who want to try out a Brompton properly before investing in one, but they do very little as a transport option for locals (which is a shame, because they're a lovely shade of purple).  At least the pricing structure is reasonable for longer-term hire.

We're supposedly getting a dock-based hire bike scheme in Birmingham[1] at some point this year, and it sounds like they're using unexpected amounts of common sense with the planning of that:  They're starting of with docks at the university campus, hospital and city centre, which will make it useful for a 5km journey that people actually make, with an adequate (and flat!) towpath route and a proper 'cycle superhighway' under construction for those who don't want to ride in the scary traffic.  They're also integrating it with the existing bus smartcard system.  Hopefully that will be successful enough to grow the scheme sustainably (e-bikes would make sense to expand into the hillier areas).  Unless they overprice it, of course.

But unless everyone's a visitor or train commuter (as per central London) at some point you need coverage of the areas where people actually live.  And uptake's likely to be sparse unless the housing is particularly dense, or the demographic is unusually studenty.


[1] One of the problems with cycling in Birmingham is that the city centre itself is a confusing mass of one-way systems, tram tracks and pedestrian areas (which are legal to cycle in, but this isn't made obvious and they're unpleasant when crowded), while being small enough that most things are a reasonable walking distance.  It's only usually worth cycling if you're going further out.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: mattc on January 10, 2019, 03:19:41 pm
I remarked to someone the other day that the way to make these really viable would be to make them strong enough to carry two. In flat towns and cities that makes the bargain pretty attractive IMO.
Good idea, but wouldn't this hammer the performance? Even before you add the weight from any extra strengthening, doubling the rider(s) weight will be a big hit.  :-\
Title: Ofo pulls out of London
Post by: hellymedic on January 10, 2019, 04:03:19 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/10/ofo-cycle-hire-firm-pulls-out-of-london (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/10/ofo-cycle-hire-firm-pulls-out-of-london)

Suspect more will follow...
Title: Re: Ofo pulls out of London
Post by: Psychler on January 10, 2019, 04:10:13 pm
Still see a few of their bikes, normally lying in the gutter.
Title: Re: Lime E-bike
Post by: graculus on January 10, 2019, 04:11:58 pm

We're supposedly getting a dock-based hire bike scheme in Birmingham[1] at some point this year,

Allegedly being piloted in Wolverhampton soon. Guinea pigs can apply here:

https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/volunteers-invited-for-bike-share-tests/
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: ian on January 10, 2019, 06:10:06 pm
Lime are quite common in Seattle, which is known to have a couple of hills, a mix of standard and electric models.

In Portland (mostly flat downtown) they have the electric scooters too. They move at a fair lick.

No surprise on the Ofo (and others), the only ones I see these days are mostly trashed. These schemes only work if there's a critical mass of available bikes, and the economics of inevitable vandalism and theft stack up.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 10, 2019, 07:34:03 pm
I don't know whether either dockless or docked bike hire schemes are necessary better than the other. The Yo bikes (yellow and dockless) get quite a lot of use in Bristol as do the Next bikes in Bath (they're grey and don't match the architecture at all), but before the Yos, there was a docked scheme in Bristol which folded cos a) no one used it, b) the docking stations all got vandalised. I expect pricing and detailed design is more important than the dockless v docking decision.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: telstarbox on January 10, 2019, 07:48:09 pm
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2019, 07:51:03 pm
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.

Yes, there's a lot of money to be saved by not building and maintaining docks.  Possibly even enough to make up for higher rates of bike attrition.

Probably makes the service less usefully predictable, though.  Unless the bike density is really high.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: grams on January 10, 2019, 08:35:48 pm
When Mobikes and ofo moved into my part of London they created virtual docks where there were always a few bikes available on particular street corners. This required minimal manpower as  no bugger was using them, and even the vandals initially ignored them.

Either indifference or atrophy of bikes meant this only lasted a few months though.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: citoyen on January 11, 2019, 11:33:04 am
Had another go on a Lime bike this morning, to get from London Bridge to Marble Arch. A few more observations...

Finding the bike in Tooley Street was tricky because of the inaccuracy of the GPS and poor mobile phone signal. I eventually found it (across the road from More London) but then took several attempts to unlock it.

If you're having trouble locating a bike, you can ask the app to ring it and it plays a chime - although it's not really loud enough to hear from more than a couple of feet away. The bike also plays a chime when you unlock it.

I quite like the bikes to ride. The swept-back handlebars force you to sit more upright and give you quite a stately feel. Which made it all the more amusing when I cruised past a lycra-clad roadie over the hump of London Bridge. However, they are quite a harsh ride. Maybe down to the airless tyres? They certainly seem a bit harsher than the Santander bikes, but this might be partly in the mind because they're also quite rattly at the back - I'm guessing it's the battery rattling about in its housing but not sure.

There's a rather good bell (much better than the piffling pingers on the Santander bikes) which is operated by a left-hand twist-grip. The only down side is that it's quite chunky and made of a hard plastic and a bit uncomfortable - though this shouldn't be an issue for the short journeys the bikes are meant for.

I parked the bike right outside the office and it was only as I was going inside the building that I noticed the timer was still running on the app, so I had to rush out in a panic to check I'd actually locked it. In fact, by the time I got there, it had sorted itself out - again it was a problem with poor GPS/mobile signal. Or maybe it's just a scam to let the timer run over the minute mark so they could filch an extra 15p out of me!

The session ended up costing £5.80, which is about double what it would have cost to do the same journey on the Tube, but infinitely more pleasant.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: fuaran on January 11, 2019, 12:05:07 pm
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.
Is it actually legal to dump a load bikes in the middle of the pavement without permission? If it is a business, don't they need some sort of street trader's licence?
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: mattc on January 11, 2019, 12:11:40 pm
In theory dockless is quicker and simpler to set up - no planning permission for example.
Is it actually legal to dump a load bikes in the middle of the pavement without permission? If it is a business, don't they need some sort of street trader's licence?

I think this is a grey area that hasn't been an issue for "normal" businesses.

In Oxford they have definitely become litter [there are at least 3 schemes there, don't think there are any docked schemes?]. Each operator does have permission from the council, but I think the latter may be regretting it! Public opinion seems very much against them - in a town where anti-cycling sentiment is pretty low.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: citoyen on January 11, 2019, 12:20:57 pm
Public opinion schmublic opinion. People do like to complain about things that don't really have any meaningful impact on their lives... any news item on dockless bikes always comes with BTL comments about them being 'strewn' across pavements. Which is obviously bollocks.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: grams on January 11, 2019, 12:22:27 pm
Is it actually legal to dump a load bikes in the middle of the pavement without permission? If it is a business, don't they need some sort of street trader's licence?

The more cycling-hostile councils treated them way and picked them all up as abandoned property.

The slightly more enlightened ones either ignored them or signed codes of conduct with the operators.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: Kim on January 11, 2019, 12:40:49 pm
Public opinion schmublic opinion. People do like to complain about things that don't really have any meaningful impact on their lives... any news item on dockless bikes always comes with BTL comments about them being 'strewn' across pavements. Which is obviously bollocks.

People like to complain about things that are new and different.  While I'm sure there are legitimate complaints about dockless bikes being left in places that block pavements, private bikes locked in stupid places - while not always accepted - are rarely considered noteworthy other than by wheelchair users etc who are actually obstructed by them.  Inconsiderately parked cars (which are surely a much bigger problem) are so normal that people don't even notice them.  The advantage of a dockless bike over the above is that any able-bodied member of the public can, if necessary, pick it up and move it out of the way.

I said in some other thread that I'd much rather see a town littered with dockless bikes than littered with cars.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 11, 2019, 12:53:11 pm
Just at the bottom of the hill here there's a closed road with a gap for cycling through where it joins the main road. There are a dozen or so cycle stands just there, always busy, and various popular cafes and so on around. The only bike I've ever had to move out of the way in a five years or so of using that gap has been a Yo dockless. But it's more frequently blocked by parked cars or vans supposedly making deliveries.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: citoyen on January 11, 2019, 01:03:44 pm
it's more frequently blocked by parked cars or vans supposedly making deliveries.

Exactly. But as Kim says, cars parked on the street has become so normalised that most people don't even notice them.

While I accept there may be occasions when wheelchair users have been genuinely inconvenienced by inconsiderately parked bikes, I suspect this is a lot less common than wheelchair users being inconvenienced by all sorts of other obstructions – and general poor street design.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: mattc on January 11, 2019, 01:15:20 pm
Some good points! Particulary this:

  The advantage of a dockless bike over the above is that any able-bodied member of the public can, if necessary, pick it up and move it out of the way.

I said in some other thread that I'd much rather see a town littered with dockless bikes than littered with cars.

I suspect there's a couple of factors creating negative reactions in Oxford:
- at least on the streets I frequent, car parking is almost totally absent. So the extra bikes "strewn" on the pavement do make quite a visual impact.
- having all the bikes in garish corporate colours* marks them out as part of a profit-making business.

I do agree that the schemes probably have a net positive effect on any afflicted town centre, but there is perhaps some room for improvement on the PR front. I'm not personally bothered, because I don't spend much time in these towns, and I think it's very early days - market forces (and tech) will shape things a lot more in the years to come.


*Could the bikes be more quaint, and made of biodegradable materials?
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: DuncanM on January 11, 2019, 01:19:01 pm
In Oxford they have definitely become litter [there are at least 3 schemes there, don't think there are any docked schemes?]. Each operator does have permission from the council, but I think the latter may be regretting it! Public opinion seems very much against them - in a town where anti-cycling sentiment is pretty low.
There is one docked scheme from the Sandhills P&R to Headington and the JR.  They have gone bust at least once though.
There was Ofo, MoBike and Pony, but I think Ofo have now given up in the UK. I'm not sure if anyone else has arrived recently, and I've not seen Pony bikes around much, so maybe we're down to just MoBike. That might be one of the reasons why they have become litter - when the operator was running they had a few bicycle driven trailers moving them around the place, but now I don't know where they have gone or who owns what's left.
I really like the MoBike design (single sided forks, orange mag style wheels), but I can't help feeling they are likely to be pretty rubbish to ride. Then again, given the BSOs that many students ride around on...
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: mattc on January 11, 2019, 01:23:34 pm
orange mag style wheels
I suppose they are delightfully 80s ...
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: grams on January 11, 2019, 01:26:18 pm
The fancy looking Mobikes are all single speed and have such a low gear as to be near unrideable, at least if you're trying to get anywhere.

The more conventional framed ones are three speed and ride pretty well. Better than Boris Bikes.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: citoyen on January 11, 2019, 01:27:06 pm
orange mag style wheels
I suppose they are delightfully 80s ...

I bet they flex like well cooked spaghetti.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 11, 2019, 01:41:14 pm
Some good points! Particulary this:

  The advantage of a dockless bike over the above is that any able-bodied member of the public can, if necessary, pick it up and move it out of the way.

I said in some other thread that I'd much rather see a town littered with dockless bikes than littered with cars.

I suspect there's a couple of factors creating negative reactions in Oxford:
- at least on the streets I frequent, car parking is almost totally absent. So the extra bikes "strewn" on the pavement do make quite a visual impact.
- having all the bikes in garish corporate colours* marks them out as part of a profit-making business.

I do agree that the schemes probably have a net positive effect on any afflicted town centre, but there is perhaps some room for improvement on the PR front. I'm not personally bothered, because I don't spend much time in these towns, and I think it's very early days - market forces (and tech) will shape things a lot more in the years to come.


*Could the bikes be more quaint, and made of biodegradable materials?

Have you fallen into an alternative universe? It sounds like it might be a better one.
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: teethgrinder on January 11, 2019, 01:42:15 pm

People like to complain about things that are new and different.  While I'm sure there are legitimate complaints about dockless bikes being left in places that block pavements, private bikes locked in stupid places - while not always accepted - are rarely considered noteworthy other than by wheelchair users etc who are actually obstructed by them.  Inconsiderately parked cars (which are surely a much bigger problem) are so normal that people don't even notice them.  The advantage of a dockless bike over the above is that any able-bodied member of the public can, if necessary, pick it up and move it out of the way.

I said in some other thread that I'd much rather see a town littered with dockless bikes than littered with cars.

Some streets on the estate where I live have pavements and roads obstructed by parked cars.
It has crossed my mind to park a load of Lime bikes in a line along the road where people park outside their homes while they're all at work, but keeping driveway entrances etc clear.
Set up a webcam and crack open the popcorn.... :demon:
Title: Re: Dockless Bikes (merged superthread)
Post by: Kim on January 11, 2019, 02:12:21 pm
- having all the bikes in garish corporate colours* marks them out as part of a profit-making business.


*Could the bikes be more quaint, and made of biodegradable materials?


Interesting point.  Obviously there's an advantage to the user (and probably the company) in making the bikes easy to spot, but I don't think that necessarily means they have to be garish.  Boris Bikes are mostly an inoffensive colour, apart from the branding on the basket and skirt guard.  They stand out by being an iconic design, to the point where they're instantly recognisable by other road users (who will generally expect the rider to do something stupid in slow motion, which is a useful safety feature).