Mobike has officially launched its app-based bike-share scheme in Newcastle with an initial 1,000 bikes in the city.
The move follows a successful pilot in Manchester, an expansion to London and a strategic partnership with British Cycling over the past few months.
In preparation for the launch, Mobike has been working closely with Newcastle City Council and in collaboration with local institutions such as Northumbria University, Newcastle University and Newcastle Great Park, to adapt its operations to local demand, transport habits and cycling culture.
Steve Pyer, UK general manager for Mobike, said: “We’re really excited to kick off our operations in Newcastle today. It’s very rewarding to see the continuous support we get from a variety of organisations for the scheme, and from businesses keen to get involved in lots of different ways.
“The city has a great ambition for improving its cycling culture and infrastructure, and we hope to play an important part in this initiative.”
Mobike’s entire fleet of more than seven million bikes are equipped with GPS and smart-lock technology that connect through the world’s largest mobile-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) platform.
The company says that analysis of this data can help improve infrastructure planning in the long term, encourage proper cycling etiquette, as well as manage supply of bikes in specific locations with high demand.
Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City council, said: “It’s fantastic news that Newcastle has today become the third city in the UK to formally welcome Mobike. Like many cities, one of our major transport priorities is to reduce congestion and pollution which is caused by traffic. These problems have a negative impact on both our local economy and our health.
“One of the ways we can all make a difference is by making fewer journeys by car – particularly those shorter journeys across town which can often put a big strain on our road network. The introduction of this exciting new cycle hire scheme gives people the opportunity to change the way they travel and also improve their own health and the health of our city as a whole.”