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Phuket Ofo bike-share has retrieving their stolen bikes

Phuket Ofo bike-share has retrieving their stolen bikes

Ofo bike-share, the company that launched its services in Phuket Town in September, has retrieved about 100 bikes from people who have taken the bikes home, whether intentionally or out of misunderstanding, the company’s representatives have confirmed.

“Of the 1,400 Ofo bikes in Phuket, just over 100 bikes have been stolen or taken home by people since the service began on Sept 20. About 110 bikes,” said Vishchawat Prukkingpet, one of two coordinators for Ofo bikes in Phuket. The bikes started disappearing soon after the launch, with several found dumped in canals in Phuket Town. The bikes are freely available for use under a free trial that has now been confirmed to be extended until the end of the year.

“We have been able to retrieve around 100 of them. About 10 remain due to the person not being home when we went to retrieve them,” he added. “There have never been any problems, they just return the bikes when we explain to them that they are for the public. “Some people think that the Governor has given them bicycles for free. They genuinely do not understand how it is used,” he said. “Others explained that they wanted to use them in the morning to go to work, so we simply asked them to park them outside, in case other people want to use them because they are public bikes,” Mr. Vishchawat added.

“We just get our staff to go to their house by tracking the location of the bicycle and ask nicely for permission to give it back, or to leave it parked outside their house, not inside. “For now we do not want to use law or punishment to get them back, as it might scare people from using them in the future.” “We have also been issuing notices on the radio to clarify how to use the bikes and ask people who have taken them to return them, to the police station or outside their house so that our staff can more easily access them,” he added. “Most of them have the mobile application. Some people have registered to use the bikes, so it’s not really a problem – but for some cases the previous user has left it unlocked, allowing others to take it.”

Mr. Vishchawat confirmed that only about 5% of the Ofo bikes in circulation in Phuket so far have sustained damage. “It is actually a very small number,” he said. Asked about OBike, the alternative company that launched in Phuket simultaneously, Mr. Vishchawat said that the two companies operate separately and that there is no mutual co-ordinator. “I am not sure about the numbers for OBike, however, from what I have seen on social media and such it seems that they are also having the same problems,” he said. Pitsanu Supho, Senior Marketing Officer of Ofo Thailand confirmed to The Phuket News that so far all the bikes are still on the island.

“As for now, from monitoring the GPS tool [fitted to the bikes] no bikes have been taken out of Phuket,” said Mr. Pitsanu. “A number of bikes have been taken out of the allocated area [Phuket Town], but not many. We can check the system and keep track of them and get them back.” Mr. Pitsanu said that Ofo will tighten up the terms of use for the bike-sharing service. “The new rules should be coming out in no more than one week. We will also work on better promotion to increase awareness of where to park the bikes, and improve understanding of the use of the bikes, via the application,” he said.

“This will be the first approach. If after several warnings some people do not return the bike they have taken, there will, of course, be legal proceedings,” Mr. Pitsanu warned.  Source: Phuket News

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