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Local Guide

Ofo Launches Bike-Sharing In Phuket

13 November 2017

Chinese owned bike-sharing company Ofo have launched in Phuket, starting with a first phase of 1000 smart-lock bikes in key locations.

Ofo is a Beijing-based bicycle sharing company founded in 2014. They operate in over 180 cities and 13 countries with more than 10 million bicycles available and on the road. The bicycles are operated with a smart-lock system, meaning users can hire bicycles by scanning a QR code.

Ofo has partnered with Phuket City Development to roll out their smart bike-sharing system to encourage flexible and convenient travel for locals and tourists. With Phuket having a heavy flow of tourists, the bicycles which are designed for travel within one to five km. By allowing travelers and locals an alternative and accessible way to travel, the smart bike-sharing system will help to reduce travel costs and parking problems in heavy traffic areas.

The system operates on a points-based system, with validated and non-validated parking areas. With users unlocking the bicycle with their phone and re-locking it to a public bicycle rack, they’ll accumulate more points for parking it back in a designated area. Similarly they’ll lose points if they park it in a non-designated area. These appropriate parking areas will be displayed on Ofo’s mobile application.

Where You Can Find The Bicycles

The rollout and first phase include bicycles at key locations including; Phuket Campus, Phuket Merlin Hotel, Prince of Songkla University, The Pearl Phuket Hotel, Robinson Phuket, The Tint at Phuket Town Hotel, Limelight Avenue Phuket, Sengho Bookstore, Bang Neaw Shrine, Saphan Hin Park, Phuket Rajaphat University and Phuket Old town.

Many more key locations are continuing to launch with users able to take up a one-month free trial offer which started on October 1. The free trial is part of the launch, with Ofo (China) and oBike (Singapore) taking part.

After the free trial period, Ofo’s regular service fee will kick in. With a deposit fee of 99 Baht and a 5-Baht fee per 30 minutes of usage. All can be paid cashless via the bike-sharing’s mobile application.

You can take part in the expansion of transport services when next visiting the island, by downloading the mobile application and simply scanning a bicycle, ready for use at one of the many convenient locations. Whilst there are currently 1000 bicycles available, there are plans to continue expanding with more bicycles at more key locations.

If you are on holiday in Phuket with your family, this is the perfect activity to try!

Bike-Sharing Expansion Across Thailand

Both Ofo’s and oBike are available, and whilst there aren’t dedicated cycle lane’s yet. The companies will continue to work with Phuket City Development to supply more resources and developments for Phuket’s cycling community and visiting tourists. Many other audiences are expected to start taking part in the initiative including, Universities, schools, Phuket government offices, police and cycling clubs.

The bicycles are also traceable to void any reason for theft, with the the user’s deposit being kept until the bicycle is returned and the charges continuing to run. The fee also covers mandatory bike theft insurance and basic medical coverage.

Both Ofo and oBike aren’t new to Thailand, with successful launches in Bangkok already. We expect to see the bike-sharing system expand to other key areas and destinations across Thailand as the popularity increase.


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Local Guide

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