By Melissa Maraj, Texas A&M University Transportation Services
Texas A&M Transportation Services has partnered with the world’s first and largest station-free bike share company, ofo, and rolled out the latest bike share innovation on campus during a launch event held today at the university’s Rudder Plaza. With more than 70,000 students, faculty and staff on campus, Texas A&M is ofo’s largest university partner in the U.S.
“We are excited about collaborating with ofo and the opportunity this partnership brings to the Texas A&M campus,” said Peter Lange, associate vice president of Transportation Services at Texas A&M. “With the continued growth of our community we are always evaluating new innovations for modes of travel and the station-free bike share system offers the reliability and ease of access that we want to provide for our customers,” he said.
Transportation Services and ofo rolled out over 500 of their signature yellow bikes during the event, where community members had the opportunity to take rides on the new bikes and to learn more about the program. To celebrate the launch, all rides are free for the next two weeks.
Encouraging customers to ride bikes on campus has been a long-standing goal for Transportation Services and in 2015 the department was responsible for Texas A&M’s designation as a “bicycle friendly” university (BFU) by the League of American Bicyclists. To build on the success of the BFU designation, Transportation Services invites the Texas A&M community to join the efforts to become more sustainable by trying the new ofo bikes, which are located throughout campus.
“We invite the community to try something different and to be a part of the changing landscape of the Texas A&M community, where mobility combined with sustainability improves the way we move around on campus,” said Lange.
Another unique benefit of station-free bike sharing is that riders are empowered to place bikes in racks where they need them the most, without the restriction of having to dock the bikes in a designated station.
“Students riding bikes around campus isn’t new, but what is unique about ofo and its innovative model is that these bikes are shared among riders and can be parked in any on-campus bike rack, removing the need for personal bikes and docking stations that take up space. This model saves money students would have spent on purchasing and maintaining their own bikes,” said Alternative Transportation Services Manager Ron Steedly, who initiated the implementation of the distinctive and widely available bike share system on campus.
“Our partnership with Texas A&M Transportation Services is part of a joint mission to bring more affordable and convenient travel options to the campus community, which we believe will serve as a great example of sustainability for other communities in Texas and around the U.S.,” said Austin Marshburn, head of universities at ofo.
“From ofo’s inception, our mission has been to create a more equitable, accessible world, and that includes making bicycles available to everyone, anytime and anywhere. We believe Connecting students to jobs, school, cultural amenities, and transit is a crucial step in that direction, added Marshburn.
“The Alternative Transportation team is a visionary unit that appreciates the impact and value that ofo dockless bikesharing will bring to the student body, faculty and staff. We are thrilled to collaborate with the university and help enhance its transportation ecosystem,” he added.
How it works
To get started, riders simply download the ofo mobile app (available for both iOS and Android).
- Find a bike: open the app and find all the bright yellow bikes around you
- Tap and scan: when you’re at the bike, tap “unlock” and scan the barcode to automatically unlock and enjoy the ride
- Park and lock: at your destination, simply park your bike anywhere on campus at a bike rack and manually lock it to end the trip
ofo’s bike locking technology also includes a touch keypad, which enables users without smartphones to use our service. Users who wish to access a bike in this way can simply call our Customer Service Center to retrieve a 4-digit code once payment has been made.
Visit the Texas A&M Transportation bikeshare website for more information.
Founded in 2014, ofo is the world’s original and largest station-free bicycle-sharing platform. ofo was created for sharing and aims to unlock every corner of the world by making bikes accessible to everyone. To date, ofo has connected users to more than 10 million bikes in over 250 cities across 20 countries, generated more than 32 million daily transactions and has provided over 200 million global users with 6 billion efficient, convenient and green rides. ofo recently partnered with the JJ Barea Foundation to donate 600 bikes to Puerto Rico in support of hurricane relief efforts, teamed up with the UN Development Programme in April to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and launched a partnership with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation in August, in which ofo donates bicycles to girls living in Malawi in need of a safe way to get to school. To learn more, visit www.ofo.com.
About Texas A&M Transportation Services
Transportation Services is an empowered team of professionals dedicated to providing efficient, dynamic and innovative fleet, parking and transit services to the Texas A&M University community. Transportation Services supports the teaching, research and public service mission of Texas A&M University, with focus on customer service and communication.