GetBike, the first bike-share scheme in the UK, announced that it is set to be put into operation in London. The brand was created by the Sino-British entrepreneurial team behind the global online bicycle sharing company GetBike Sharing System in November 2016. The company is based in the London borough of Greenwich. Just last month the team received US$10 million in A-round financing. The valuation of the company has now reached US$200 million.
“The product launch conference was held at the O2 Arena,” said CEO Ming Yang. “We will launch a beta test across the Greater London region from February 25 to April 25, offering 3,000 bikes initially and increasing the number to 50,000 within five months.”
The bicycles that will be used in the GetBike bike-share scheme all come equipped with perforated solid tyres, anti-rust roller chains for the drivetrain, a 5W solar power generation system, drum brakes, and Texas Instrument charging chips which achieve up to a 5A fast charge. The intelligent lock for the bike incorporates the 2G GSM network covering most countries across the globe. It also features SIMCOM 800L modules, a ST host microcontroller, and the company’s own proprietary software module.
“London’s traffic congestion is a well-known fact, driving many Londoners to opt for bicycles, not only as a preferred method for getting from point A to point B, but also to do their bit for the environment as well as to keep in shape,” said Yang. “We hope the success of the new model that originated in China could serve as a Last Mile solution for individuals commuting within or travelling around Greater London.” Yang also said more information about the introductory pricing and details of the overall scheme would be made available following the conference.
Traffic congestion in the world’s larger cities is being seen as ever-growing problem, especially during rush hours. To ease the mounting congestion, governments in many countries are looking at bicycle sharing schemes as one of the solutions. Due to a variety of factors, the bike-share scheme led by the London government has been slow to take off, and little, if any, improvement in the city’s traffic congestion has yet taken place as a result. The bike-share scheme pioneered by GetBike is expected to provide a new path to solving urban problems in traffic.