Ofo bicycles in Beijing. Ofo bicycles in Beijing.

Two bike-sharing firms coming to Mexico

Ofo and Mobike, both based in China, are looking at Mexico City and other centers

Two China-based bike-sharing companies are preparing to launch their services in Mexico.

Beijing-based Ofo is looking at Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey but is not sure when the launch will happen, said Taylor Bennett, the company’s head of communications for North America.

“Our approach is really collaborative, and what we try to do is really build from scratch the bike-sharing program that works for cities,” he said. “That’s where we are now with Mexico.”

Ofo’s rival, Mobike, is in negotiations to bring rental bikes to the wealthy Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City, with a February target launch, according to Reuters.

In the capital, the companies will be competing with the government-run Ecobici, one of the largest bike-sharing programs in North America. It launched in 2010 and offers more than 6,000 bicycles at 450 stations.

However, Paul DeMaio of MetroBike, a bike-sharing consultancy, said private companies tend to complement government programs.

The Chinese firms’ arrival “could be an opportunity for the city and for the private sector . . . to provide service city-wide,” he said. “It’s a huge city.”

Mexico City is one of the largest and most congested cities in the world, and has already attracted ride-hailing companies such as Uber, which chose the capital as the first city for its launch in Latin America.

Another Chinese company has also announced plans to launch in Mexico. Ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is the Uber of China.

Source: Reuters (en)

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