The move is also a game changer for cities that already have shared bikes. Washington, D.C. has become the first U.S. city to experiment with how dockless bikeshare options complement the existing system of docked bicycles. In a month’s time, the fleet of shared bicycles in the nation’s capital has grown by 50% due to startups like Jump Mobility and LimeBike entering the city. Ofo will launch next week.
Washington D.C. department of transportation official Sam Zimbabwe, who oversees bikeshare in the city, said dockless systems may address the most common complaints about Capital Bikeshare: There aren’t enough bikes, convenient stations and places to park.
There are still questions about potential drawbacks of dockless technology. The programs have generally been successful in China, but some cities have reported piles of neglected bicycles cluttering the streets due to few regulations.