Gobee.bike pulls the plug in Brussels due to vandalism
Free floating bicycle sharing service Gobee.bike pulls the plug of its Brussels’ operations after only three months. The Hong Kong start-up says to be fed up with the recurring vandalism on its bicycle fleet.
Since September 2017 a number of shared bicycles from different renting companies such as Gobee.bike (Hong Kong), OBike (Singapore) or the electric bikes from Billy Bike (Belgium) were appearing all around Brussels, totaling around 850 today. These ‘free-floating’ bicycles can be picked-up and dropped-off wherever the user desires it, without the need of a station.
Damaged over and over
Only days after the bicycles of the Gobee.bike’s fleet were repaired, they were damaged over and over again, the company says. In a letter to its users, Gobee.bikes says it is going to redraw one of these days its fleet of green bikes because numerous cases of vandalism. “We never counted on beginner’s luck and we worked hard, confronted with many drawbacks, and we learned a lot.”
“We listened, corrected, tested, improved and put in all resources we could to create a durable and environmentally friendly mobility solution. Unfortunately one of these drawbacks shook us more than others.”
“A behaviour that came so suddenly and brutally that we have to admit that some people aren’t ready for such a mobility solution. Last weeks the number of cases of wrecking of our bicycles has reached a limit we can’t overcome anymore.”
Going on in other cities
Whether vandalism is the only reason to withdraw from Brussels is hard to say, as the Hong Kong start-up, coming after its competitors, had difficulties to attract sufficient users for the fleet of 200 bicycles offered. Gobee.bike will continue its service though in the European cities of Paris, Lyon, Turin, Firenze and Rome.