oBike is to partner with local businesses to manage its fleet of bikes. BikeBiz reports that the firm’s Global Business Partner Programme will see it working with local firms on maintenance and other day-to-day issues.
While dockless bike-sharing is booming, many of the firms have issues managing their bikes.
Wandsworth Council removed scores of oBikes for obstructing pavements when the firm launched there earlier this year, while in Melbourne city authorities have been crushing them, saying the company has failed to pick up those that have been dumped in inappropriate places.
More recently, rival firm Mobike narrowed the area in which its bikes could be parked in Manchester after finding it was too labour intensive to keep bringing them back to central areas.
oBike is now introducing an alternative, more localised business model to manage its scale operations. The Global Business Partner Programme will see operations decentralised into hubs that can be managed more efficiently by the local partners.
Essentially a franchise model, the aim is to harness the expertise and resources of local businesses to better manage operations in specific geographic areas within a city. Franchisees will be responsible for redistribution of bikes and upkeep.