CAMDEN, NJ—After only two months, the bright yellow bikes that wheeled around the City of Camden’s streets are no more.
The China-based bike share company ofo abruptly announced this week that it was re-evaluating it global business, and as a result, ending its bike share program in Camden, an ofo spokesperson confirmed.
“As we continue to bring bikeshare to communities across the globe, ofo has begun to reevaluate markets that present obstacles to new, green transit solutions, and prioritize growth in viable markets that support alternative transportation and allow us to continue to serve our customers,” ofo’s Head of North America Andrew Daley said in a statement.
The bike share program was supposed to be demonstration portion of a part of a six-month bike share feasibility study in partnership with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and the Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Study [VTC] to determine if a bike share was sustainable for the City of Camden to maintain.
Launched on May 1, ofo dispatched 200 bicycles across the city. Each bike had a GPS unit, and were rented at $1 an hour through the ofo phone app. Customers would pull up the app, find an available bike close to them, and then enter a code provided by the app to unlock the bike. They could then ride the bike anywhere within the Camden city limits.
City spokesperson Vince Basara said officials received no notice from ofo about the decision.
“At the end of the day its disappointing,” Basara said, adding however, that the program was “outside the box, creative and received well.”
While the demonstration portion of the study has ended, the study will continue, a press release from the VTC announced.
“The demonstration pilot has provided the project partners with over two months of valuable insight on how a full bike share system could work in Camden. The team will continue to engage in outreach with Camden residents and stakeholders in order to determine if and how a bike share system can provide a valuable transportation tool to the city,” stated the release.