Bike-Sharer Could be Hounded Out of Manchester by Vandals

By Gary Cutlack on at

The bike-sharing trend is taking another pounding today, with Mobike — operator of several city cycle hire schemes in the UK — threatening to pull out of Manchester unless the locals start treating its fleet of orange rental bikes with a bit more respect. We suspect saying this publicly may indeed have the opposite effect and more will start making their way up trees and around lamp posts.

Mobike UK's manager Jan Van der Ven says he's losing around 10 per cent of his bike fleet to vandalism, theft and general abuse each month, and even at the rate his Chinese backers are churning out the bikes it's soon going to be financially impossible to continue to replace them and keep a sustainable number of them operational. "As a private business, we are only viable if our revenues cover our costs, and that is not possible with the current levels of bike loss in Manchester," Van der Ven said, which almost sounds like a challenge to the people of Manchester to up their bike-trashing game.

He added that the city has a matter of "weeks" rather than months to stop battering its bikes, else they really might be wheeled away and taken to the massive Chinese bike dump facilities. [Sky News]