Rack Mobike At Manchester New Cathedral Street

Mobike moves to next phase

Dock-free bike-sharing service Mobike has said that it is moving to the next phase of its development programme, following the launch of its pilot scheme in Manchester in June.

Mobike is a cycle hire scheme intended for short urban journeys. Bikes are not docked at stations, but located by use of an app and operated by a smart locking system.

Mobike said that it has re-defined the area in central Manchester where its bikes will operate as it looks to ensure that more bikes are located in the city centre, improving accessibility and availability. Along with vandalism, another issue that arose in the early weeks of the Mobike pilot was users taking the bikes home to relatively outlying areas.

The bikes were briefly removed from use in a move that, being unannounced, raised some alarm. A spokesman told Place North West that this was “to allow the geo-fence to be reset” but that the bikes are being reintroduced starting from today, returning to the full complement later this week.

The operator has now drawn a red zone, or ‘geo-fence’ in the Mobike app, asking that bikes are parked and locked inside this area at the end of rides, although users are free to use them outside the zone. In future, users who deliberately park bikes outside the zone may be penalised.

Mobike Red Zone

More people are being added to the Mobike team as it rolls the concept out to other cities – Newcastle and Oxford have now followed Manchester and London as Mobike locations. The operator said that the app is being modified, with one of the key aims being to make users aware of good parking locations – its “Mobike Preferred Locations” will be added to the in-app map to better help customers find bikes and ideal drop off points.

Steve Pyer, general manager of Mobike UK said: “Manchester has been a hugely valuable learning experience for us as we launch in the UK.  The changes that we are making are designed to improve the customer experience.”

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Have seen some as far north as Prestwich…See many at Salford Quays too.

By Schwyz

I’ve seen and used these in and around Altrincham – why does it need to be so restricted?

By BHH

That geo-fence is a terrible idea. Lost one Altrincham-based user already and probably many more.

By Alan

That’s ridiculous, I use them in Didsbury all the time. Such a shame.

By Laura

Doesn’t say you can’t use them outside the radius… just not left. Fair enough IMO… idea is that they’re accessible, not a random bike dumped in Middleton or Bowdon.

By Cyril

There was always a ‘geo-fence’, although I’m not sure penalties were ever imposed – they seem to have brought it in much tighter now and cut-out Salford Quays. Looks like it runs right through my property though. I’d better park on the right side of the front door.

By Edge

Instead of moaning, just buy your own bike.

By Bradley W

Sorry Bradley W. but you entirely miss the point. The whole point of Mobike is that you don’t need to shell out for a bike. There”s no requirement to maintain it; buy a lock; think about where you’ll park it and worry about whether it’ll be there when you return. For occasional cyclists like me, buying a bike makes little sense. I agree with those commenting that the geo-fence is now too restrictive. Even Ancoats is too far out from the centre which is surprising to say the least. By doing this, Mobike have taken away the option for many to cycle from home to town or vice versa as the bikes can no longer be collected or left outside the zone.

By KeithH

Subscribe to our newsletter