Wednesday, August 08, 2018

New permitting and registration fees have killed off at least one bike-sharing company previously operating in Dallas, Texas. Thanks Steve!

Instead of helping people commute, run errands, or visit friends, thousands of yellow bikes previously operated by Ofo, a bike-sharing firm, are now heaped in a city recycling center

Ofo decided to pull out of Dallas after the city passed new rules requiring an $800 registration fee and permit fees of $21 per bike, and complained about the "exorbitant fees" in a statement to the Dallas Morning News.

 The Mayor's spokesman said that dumping all the bikes in a recycling plant seemed "terribly wasteful" because people could still ride them.

"They were disingenuous and didn't want to work with the city to create a more bikeable city," Mayor Mike Rawlings said Monday. "They wanted to take what they could, and when it didn't work out, throw it in the trash bin. I am sad about that, because there are a lot of kids who could be riding those bikes."

Perhaps people could, if the city wasn't trying to profit as an accessory after the fact that some other company tried to get a thin margin business going.

Ofo said bikes in "good working condition" were donated to local organizations like City Square and Bikes for Tykes.

But they haven't.

Alex Thompson, a spokesperson at CitySquare said Monday that, yes, Ofo has offered to donate 250 bikes, but that right now the nonprofit has yet to receive any. But, Thompson said, if and when they do arrive, they will be welcome.

"CitySquare case managers and program staff will distribute the bikes on a case-by-case basis to eliminate transportation barriers for our neighbors," he said. "In general, bicycles can ease the daily commute for some of our neighbors living in poverty, who have no personal transportation and do not live within walking distance of public transportation."

As of this moment, there is not a single legal rental bike or scooter in the city of Dallas. Thirty-nine days after Dallas City Hall gave the bike- and scooter-share companies 30 days to register — to pay their registration fees and per-bike fees, their insurance requirements and security deposits — not one has sent the city a dime or turned in a single sheet of paperwork.

 Which, I guess, maybe isn't such a big deal. Because three of the five bike-share companies that dropped some 20,000 buck-a-bikes on this city one year ago — Ofo, Spin and Mobike — have already pulled out and rolled away.

So, bike company bails when taxed, doesn't donate. City mayor is disingenuous and didn't make a better offer so his stated goal of kids riding bikes would be achieved.

We're still absent any meaningful bike infrastructure — short hundreds of miles' worth of bikes lanes, shared and protected and in-between, promised to use almost a decade ago.

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