Mobike to Launch in Manchester This Week

By Jesse Pottinger, July 3, 2017

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Chinese bike sharing titan Mobike is launching in Manchester and Salford this week, according to Manchester Evening NewsAlthough originally thought to be launching in the UK on June 29, roughly 1,000 bicycles will become accessible to Manchester cyclists this Thursday, July 6. 

The 6-month trial – which may be extended – will be the first venture outside Asia for the Beijing-based company. 

Mobike executives see the service as revolutionary to the way people travel short distances, something residents in Chinese metropolises can attest to – just as they can attest to the bikes’ ability to congest sidewalks and hamper traffic. 

Like the newer Mobikes found in the Middle Kingdom, the Manchester bikes will use airless tires, no chain and an enduring disc brake, requiring no maintenance for the first four years.

READ MORE: How to Rent a Mobike (AKA Cycling's Answer to Uber) in China

Mobike superiors say that stealing and vandalizing the bikes is extremely difficult, and ultimately “pointless.” Any user that damages the bike, or leaves it in an improper location, will be charged higher for the service, while proper use is rewarded.

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To use the shared bikes, commuters in the UK will be required to download and register on the Mobike app, just like users in China and Singapore. A refundable deposit of GBP49 is required, although those who sign up during July will pay a discounted price of GBP29.

Cyclists will be charged GBP0.5 per 30 minutes.

Bikes can be left in bike parking locations throughout the city, or at the designated Mobike parking stations. Thirty additional locations are expected to be added in phase one. 

READ MORE: Shanghai's Mobike Gets Mo' Improvements

Mobike won’t be the first Chinese bike sharing company to hit UK streets, that honor belongs to competitor Ofo, which recently launched 50 bikes in Cambridge. Those bikes are also rented for GBP0.5 for 30 minutes, although they require no deposit.

Mobike parking locations in the Manchester and Salford area include Salford Central Station, MediaCityUK, Exchange Quay, Manchester Met University, Salford University, Museum of Sci and Industry, Great Northern Warehouse and CMFT/Oxford Road Corridor.

[Images via Manchester Evening News, TechCrunch]

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