College Station residents irritated by unattended Ofo bikes
Bright yellow Ofo bikes can be spotted all throughout Texas A&M University's campus as well as College Station. Either being ridden by students, at bike racks, or sometimes abandoned on campus or around town.
"It makes us look kind of junky," says College Station council member Linda Harvell. "The'y are parked in yards they are parked in streets or parked across sidewalks, crosswalks, everywhere but where they should be."
The bike share company unveiled the yellow bikes on campus on February 27th. Texas A&M University's Transportation Services says there has nearly been 100,000 bike rides taken by students, only two percent of those rides were parked improperly.
If a rider chooses to park improperly, Ofo representatives say that a riders score or rating can be lowered. That can eventually lead to a suspension if a person's rating gets too low.
"With every new bit of technology there is always going to be some small growing pains to make this work even better," says Eric Smith, a spokesperson for Ofo. "We are definitely on a mission to do that."
According to transportation services, there are currently 850 bikes on campus. Ultimately, Ofo is responsible for the bikes and the company has already added a second van to the area to help pick up abandoned bikes.
Harvell says the extra van and rating decreases are a start.
"This is a whole new program. I don't think anyone knows what the expectations are," says Harvell. "I think it is a good start."
Transportation services says the program has been a success far, more students are riding to class then ever before. Around 8,000 students have Ofo accounts. However, they also recognize there is more work to do.
Harvell is vocal about what she thinks of the abandoned Ofo bikes, but she is still in support of the bikeshare program.
"I think it is a great concept just because I live in an area with a lot of students, and it seems like a great way of getting from point A to point B," says Harvell. "But it needs to be done reasonably."
The city of College Station says they have received a few inquiries regarding Ofo bikes, but have redirected them towards the University.
In the coming days, Texas A&M Transportation Services will be opening an email address for any questions. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.