Dockless bike-share bikes from Mobike have today arrived on the streets of Islington and the City of London. The distinctive orange bikes joins the yellow ones from Ofo, which launched in Islington earlier in the month and in Hackney in September.
Mobike and Ofo are the biggest of the Chinese dockless bike-share companies, and they are now head-to-head with Sadiq Cycles.
Ofo’s UK general manager Joseph Seal-Driver said: "We welcome competition in Islington, just as we did in Oxford when Mobike launched there several months after us. It’s healthy and ultimately benefits the public.
"Our product stands out in the industry as an example of how dockless schemes should be run. We’re the original, the oldest, and have therefore had longer than anyone else to refine our service, our bikes and our app. Our three-speed bikes are light, nimble and fun to ride and our app makes finding and hiring them simple."
While Sadiq Cycles – or, as the scheme is supposed to be known, Santander Cycles – have to be picked up and left at docks, the dockless bikes can be picked up wherever they were left, and are dropped in a similar fashion. "Geo-fencing" – all of the dockless bikes are GPS-enabled – is supposed to prevent the bikes being left in boroughs where they are not supposed to wander. Users are supposed to get penalties for leaving bikes in the "wrong" borough.