Mobike, Ofo Leaving D.C.

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An Ofo bike on the C&O Canal last January. Courtesy TwoWheelsDC.

Ofo and Mobike, both Chinese-based dockless bike companies that began operating in the U.S. last fall, are leaving the D.C. area.

Ofo is now laying off about 70 percent of its staff in the U.S. Ofo and Mobike cited American cities’ regulatory measures as a reason for their departure. During the pilot phase, which has been extended through August, the District Department of Transportation only allowed each dockless bike company to have 400 bikes in circulation.

The regulatory measures run contrary to the companies’ revenue model in other cities. The company has over 10,000 rentals a day in the Tucson area. Florence, Italy, with about 300,000 fewer people than D.C., is home to 4,000 Mobikes.

Ofo has declared that it will focus on providing bicycles to cities that are a better fit with its revenue model, like San Diego and Seattle, where the company faces fewer regulatory challenges.

However, fans of dockless bike-sharing shouldn’t worry, as there are at least three other companies still operating in the area: Jump, Spin and Lime. Lime also provides electric scooters in D.C., as do Skip and Bird.

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