AUSTIN, Texas, March 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Since ofo's initial US launch in Seattle in August 2017, the company has expanded to multiple regions in the US, including California, Massachusetts, and Texas.
Chris Taylor, ofo's Head of North America, recently spoke at SXSW 2018's Unexpected Stories Written by the Mobile Internet panel. Taylor shared the story of ofo in Dallas, TX. Dallas was a typical automobile town with residential areas scattered throughout the city. Yet a unique riding culture started to emerge after ofo's service was introduced. Traffic congestion has been alleviated as well. The number of ofo's yellow bikes in Dallas increases each week, and Dallas has become one of the US cities with the fastest growing bike-sharing services.
The international expansion of ofo, the world's first and largest station-free bike-sharing platform, started in 2016 when its CEO Dai Wei decided to bring the yellow bikes from China into major cities around the world. ofo has connected over 120,000 bikes in more than 70 cities outside China and has provided over 25 million rides so far. ofo's users traveled 11.747 billion km in 2017, which saved 590,000 tons of gasoline and reduced 2.59 million tons of carbon emission.
In order to promote this new model of transportation, ofo's top priorities upon entering a city are to research local policies and regulations, communicate with local government, and study the market to identify the optimal deployment spots. ofo also cooperates with cycling associations to engage with local communities.
ofo adjusts its bike designs accordingly for different markets. Different gears and frames are installed based on user preferences and topography of each city. The service is operated by local people, which has generated a considerable amount of jobs.
Bike sharing is expected to continue growing in the future. According to Cheetah Lab's analysis, the number of global users will reach 306 million in 2019. The number of users outside China can grow by 5-10 times in the next two years. Global demand for bikes will reach 110 million, and bike riders will count for 15% of the whole population at over 1.1 billion.
Dai Wei, Co-founder and CEO of ofo, said at APEC 2017 that in the future ofo hopes to provide service for 2 billion people globally. ofo, among multiple other operators, will lead the popularization of this revolutionary way of transportation.