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Bike-sharing program comes to Lone Tree

Rentals are free through February; model doesn't use stations


Lone Tree residents may have noticed a new addition to their community — dozens of bright yellow bicycles.

The bicycles appeared around town and at the Lincoln light rail station Feb. 7, and are part of a pilot program between the City of Lone Tree and ofo, a bike-sharing company that uses a station-free model, so bikes can be picked up and dropped off at almost any location. Typical bike-share programs require that bikes be picked up and returned to a designated station. Bike rentals cost one dollar per hour, but through the month of February rides are free.

An app called ofo must be downloaded to use the bikes. Once the app is downloaded, using GPS technology, it will tell you where the closest bicycle is to your location. It could be right outside your apartment, or across the street at the grocery store. Once a bike is found, you tap “unlock” and scan the barcode on the bike. The bike is unlocked and ready to ride. When finished, find a safe place to park the bike. It is self-locking, so as long as it is not parked in a public right-of-way or someplace that will pose a danger, just park and lock the bike.

Austin Good, management analyst with the city of Lone Tree, said ofo reached out to the city several months ago about the project, and they have agreed to a trial pilot until June. There is no cost to the city for the service, but the city did grant a temporary license to ofo for the length of the pilot.

“This is a great resource for the community,” said Good. “Lone Tree is a very bike-friendly city, and this will give residents the opportunity to take advantage of biking, whether it's just a short trip or a day around the city.”

Good said as the program progresses, it will become apparent where the bikes are most used, and ofo can add more bicycles to keep up with the demand. Ofo is also responsible for maintaining all the bicycles, and making sure they aren't left in dangerous areas or abandoned on city streets.

Taylor Bennett, head of communication in North America for ofo, said they're excited to bring this program to Lone Tree.

“We're thrilled to start serving Lone Tree and collaborating with the community to help enhance its transportation ecosystem and make the city an even better place to live, work and ride,” said Bennett.

The yellow bikes parked along Lincoln Station drew interest from light-rail commuters the day they appeared, as people gathered around and tried to figure out what they were, and how to use them.

Thom Nguyen and some of his friends checked out the bikes on their way home, after exiting the E Line train.

“I would try this. Not now, because I'm in a hurry, but maybe sometimes, when we want to ride around,” said Nguyen.

The ofo app can be downloaded through Google Store or Itunes.


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