Eyes on the Street: San Diego Gets Ofo Dockless Bike-Share

San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez addresses the crowd before they head out for a test ride. Photo courtesy Circulate SD
San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez addresses the crowd before they head out for a test ride. Photo courtesy Circulate SD

San Diego officially launched another bike-share option with a press conference and celebration of the ofo system at Waterfront Park.

Ofo began offering their dockless share bikes in San Diego in February. Today’s event included speeches by local dignitaries and representatives from ofo demonstrating how the system works, how to use the bikes, and bike-parking etiquette.

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition led a community bike ride following the press conference.

At the press event, Colin Parent, Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, said, “Having ofo in San Diego is a boon for our region. As transportation advocates, we welcome ofo to San Diego as an innovative solution to meeting San Diego’s environmental goals and providing transportation options.”

Usually ofo charges rides at the rate of $1 per hour, but during the month of March it will offer rides in San Diego for free—although you will still need the app to unlock them.

Ofo joins Discover bike-share, which has offered bike-share at stations in San Diego’s urban core and beach communities for several years under the name DECO. Other new ways of getting around include LimeBike and Mobike dockless bike-share, as well as Bird Scooters. LimeBike is also testing scooters in the area.

Reader George Seikaly send in this photo of various bike-share bikes in San Diego.
Reader George Seikaly sent in this photo of various bike-share bikes in San Diego.

Not everyone loves the bikes that are part of these services, and not everyone thinks private dockless bike-share is the way to go.

There has also been pushback from people who don’t understand or appreciate the appeal of bikes in the urban sphere at all. Nevertheless, Maya Rosas, Advocacy Manager for Circulate San Diego, says she is hearing an enthusiastic response about all this choice. “The people who are riding the bikes love it,” she said, “and we’re hearing people commenting that they’re seeing more and more people riding bikes.”

Group Bike Ride
The San Diego Bicycle Coalition led a bike ride after the launch. Photo courtesy Circulate SD
Councilmember David Alvarez joined the bike ride. Photo courtesy Circulate SD
Councilmember David Alvarez joined the bike ride. Photo courtesy Circulate SD

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