frequently asked questions

We’re here to help.

about ofo

What is ofo?

ofo is the world’s first and largest station-free bike sharing platform. We provide convenient and affordable urban travel – reducing carbon emissions, easing traffic congestion, saving energy, and promoting better living along the way.

How did ofo start?

ofo began in 2014 when CEO David Dai and his co-founding partners saw an opportunity to leverage smart technology to improve cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation. As students at Peking University, David and his partners convinced about 2,000 students to add their bicycles to a private registry. The registry could be accessed through a mobile app and allowed participants to use any registered bike, anywhere, at any time.

The platform became so popular that it expanded to five more campuses within just three months. Building upon this momentum, the company revamped its operating model to offer users standardized bicycles and began expanding to major cities across China and internationally. Today the service is open to anyone in over 150 major cities with a smartphone.

What is ofo’s mission?

To optimize urban short-distance travel through connective, convenient, affordable, and clean short-distance travel options.

What motivates us?

We believe that our products should empower people and improve the lives of those who are impacted by them. We also want to bring down the barriers between people, and unlock every corner of the world.

What makes ofo special?

We are more than just a business, and our pioneering spirit comes from a genuine love for cycling that runs throughout the company. Biking is in our genes and we know how much value a great ride can bring to your day. We also stand firmly by our social mission. Transportation shouldn't be clunky, boring, expensive, or harmful to you or the environment.

Does ofo really have a positive impact on reducing city traffic congestion?

Yes. In Shanghai, for example, since the station-free model launched on the municipal level, the number of car trips under three miles has decreased by 44%. We expect to see similarly significant decreases in other markets as we ramp up operations.

How does ofo’s platform help the environment?

On average, ofo users ride over 4 million miles each day in over 150 cities worldwide. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the reduction in carbon emissions due to their riding was equivalent to the absorption rate of a forest three-quarters the size of the state of Rhode Island (that's a lot!).

What else does the company do to promote ecological responsibility?

  • ofo has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme in developing and promoting innovative solutions for climate change.
  • ofo also collaborates with other impactful organizations and individuals on environmentally and socially conscious projects. One such collaboration is with Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde to develop and launch a “smog-free” bicycle - a bicycle that absorbs and cleans polluted air then releases it around the cyclist as they travel.

How can I work for ofo?

We always keep an eye out for talented, passionate, and committed people who can bring value to our team. Bonus points for those who are socially conscious and have a sense of humor. If you are interested in joining the team, please send your resume and a brief self-introduction to career@ofo.com.

operations

Where does ofo currently operate?

As of mid-2017, our service is available in China, Singapore, the UK, and Kazakhstan. Service in cities across the US will begin from summer 2017.

How many bicycles are in ofo’s fleet?

We have over 6.5 million bicycles in operation globally, which are regularly maintained and upgraded.

How many rides does ofo provide daily?

Our users take over 25 million rides via our platform each day.

How does ofo maintain its bicycles?

Each service zone in our network has a professionally trained operations team that oversees maintenance-related functions. These include:
  • Ensuring that our bicycles are parked in accordance with local laws and regulations.
  • Re-parking bicycles as necessary to ensure that public right of way is protected.
  • Redistributing bicycles across the service zone to address user needs.
  • Cleaning and repairing the fleet.

When is ofo coming to my city?

Contact us at ofo.com to let us know where you’d like us to go to next, or sign up for local updates here.

using our bicycles

How do I use an ofo bicycle?

Using our bicycles is fast and easy. Simply download the ofo mobile app (available for both iOS and Android), register your basic information and payment method, then use the map function to locate nearby available bicycles. Once you reach one, scan the QR code on the license plate or enter the plate number manually to unlock it and you'll be ready to go. Once you complete your ride, park the bicycle in an appropriate location, lock it, and tap “Trip complete” in the app. That’s it!

unlocking & locking

How do I lock the bicycle after a ride?

Bicycles are locked by manually turning the dial on the locking mechanism after completing a trip.

The bicycle won’t unlock. What should I do?

ofo bicycles can be unlocked via the mobile app by scanning the QR code or entering the bicycle plate number. If neither of these methods works, check that your phone’s bluetooth function is activated and restart the app. If the issue persists, please send us a report via the app or email us at cs@ofo.com.

mobile app

Where can I download the ofo app?

The app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play Store.

The app is not working. What should I do?

If you haven’t already, please update to the latest version of the app. If an update does not correct the issue, please uninstall the app from your phone and reinstall it. If the problem persists, please send a report to cs@ofo.com.

account & registration

I haven’t received a verification code for the app.

  • Check that your phone number is correctly entered, and tap “Get Verification Code” on the verification screen to send a new code to your phone.
  • Your mobile carrier may be blocking the short code SMS that ofo uses to contact you. Please contact your mobile provider to confirm that short code SMS is enabled for your mobile account.
  • If you still do not receive an SMS containing a verification code after following both previous steps, please send an email with your mobile number, email address, and any additional details to cs@ofo.com.

billing

How much does ofo’s service cost?

All bicycles in ofo’s network are available to users for $1 per hour.

How do I pay for my ride?

We accept payment via credit/debit cards, PayPal, and cash. Please be aware that payment methods may vary by location. When using the app’s wallet feature, payment sources are pre-linked to the app and your preferred payment method is charged upon completion of each ride.

To make payments via the mobile app:

  1. Select “My Wallet” from your app menu.
  2. Tap “Payment” and “Add Payment Method.”
  3. Add a payment method by entering your card info and tap “Save.”

How are fares calculated?

Fares are charged by the hour and begin to accrue once a bicycle has been unlocked. The fare timer stops once the bicycle has been parked and properly locked.

I ended a trip but am still being charged.

  • If your phone’s Bluetooth function is activated, your trip will end immediately once the bicycle is securely locked. You will then receive a receipt containing a trip summary and the cost via the mobile app.
  • If you are not using the Bluetooth function, you must tap the “Trip Completed” button in the app after locking the bike to manually end the trip.

I did not receive a receipt for my trip.

In the event that you do not receive the receipt within 2 minutes - don’t panic! Please follow these guidelines:
  • Please check that you have enabled notifications from the ofo app in your phone’s settings.
  • After checking that the bicycle is properly locked, relaunch the app on your phone.
  • If you have tried the above actions several times without success, the bicycle may require maintenance. Please tap ‘Repair needed’ in the app and report the problem or send an email to cs@ofo.com.

Why was my payment declined?

In most cases, you'll need to add or select a different payment method to resolve any payment issue. However, below are some common payment issues and their resolutions:
  • If you receive one of the following messages, your transaction request may have been declined by the bank of your selected payment method (please contact your financial institution):
    • "Request Failed: Card Declined"
    • "Your payment method is invalid. Please update your billing settings"
    • "There was an error processing your request"
  • If you entered your credit or debit card information incorrectly, you'll need to update your card in the "Payment" menu of the app.
  • If your credit or debit card has expired, you'll need to remove the expired card from your account and replace it with an active one.
  • If there are insufficient funds in your account, you'll need to transfer funds to your account. You may also add or select a different payment method.
  • Your bank may reject transactions exceeding your credit limit. In this case, please contact your bank or select a different payment method.
  • If you are traveling abroad you may need to contact your bank to authorize international transactions on your credit/debit card.
  • Banks commonly use software that identifies fraud patterns and blocks potentially fraudulent transactions. Your bank may have identified ofo’s charge as fraudulent and rejected it. Please contact your bank to authorize ofo transactions or select a different payment method.
  • If you previously reported your credit card as lost or stolen, your bank will decline all transactions made to that account. Please contact your bank to receive a new card or report the original as recovered.
Help us improve your experience! Please send a message to cs@ofo.com if you experience any other payment-related issues.

bicycle usage

How do I complete a trip?

You may end your ride at any time by locking the bicycle and clicking ‘Trip Completed’ in the mobile app.

For how long can I rent a bicycle?

There is no limitation on the length of a bicycle rental; users may keep a rental active for as long as they choose. However, the fare meter activates when a user initially unlocks the bicycle and continues running until the trip is officially completed. To avoid excessive charges, please be sure to complete your trip when you do not intend to resume your ride soon.

How do I find a bicycle near me?

Our bicycles are GPS-enabled and can be easily located using the mobile app.

What should I do if the bicycle breaks down during my ride?

Our bicycles are designed for durability, and regularly experience heavy usage without issue. However, as with any machine, they do experience wear and tear, requiring maintenance occasionally. If your bicycle breaks down and requires maintenance, you should:
  • Park the bicycle in a secure location and let us know by submitting a report via the ‘repair needed’ function in our app. Our maintenance team will then come inspect and repair the bike.

How do I report a faulty bicycle?

You can report a faulty bicycle using ‘Repair needed’ function on our app.

What should I do if I get into an accident?

  • We take your safety seriously. In the event of an emergency, please dial 911.
  • ofo carries a liability insurance to cover accidents. Please contact us at cs@ofo.com so our team can help guide you through the process.

How can I report unauthorized activity?

Please report any unauthorized activity you encounter (external locks, improper parking location, improper usage, etc.) via the mobile app.

Can I share my personal bicycle with ofo?

ofo is not currently accepting personal bicycles for entry into our bike-share pool. Feel free to email us at cs@ofo.com to receive notification of when we launch this service in the near future.

Parking

Where should I park the bicycle after use?

  • You can park your ofo bicycle anywhere outside of the pedestrian right of way that complies with local laws and does not obstruct traffic. For your convenience, we have identified ‘Preferred Parking Zones’ (PPZ) for ofo users. In the event that a PPZ is unavailable, you can park at any public bicycle rack.
  • NEVER park ofo bicycles in a place that makes YOU the one who upsets the freedom and safety of other people. This includes:
    • Locations which obstruct or potentially obstruct traffic or pedestrians
    • Private bicycle parks
    • In private/gated communities
    • Inside a residence

Where are the docking stations for the bicycles located?

ofo operates using a station-free model. There are no docking stations for ofo bikes, but bikes can be located using the mobile app and parked anywhere that adheres to the guidelines listed above.

What happens after the bicycle is parked?

Once a trip is completed and the bicycle is locked through the app it becomes available for use by all registered users.

What happens if I am told not to leave a bike in a particular location?

You may park the bike within the legal confines of the city or campus of operation. However we encourage ofo users to be mindful neighbors and ride courteously. Please park in preferred parking zones where possible. If you are told not to park in an authorized location, please calmly park elsewhere and send an email with a brief description of your encounter, the time, and the location to cs@ofo.com and we will look into the matter.

bike safety

How old do I need to be to use an ofo bike?

Currently, users must be at least 18 years old to ride our bikes.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

ofo encourages all users to practice safe riding habits, including wearing a helmet and/or other safety gear. However, requirements vary from state to state, so check your local laws before getting on the road.

Where can I find information about bike safety practices?

We’re all about having fun, but your safety always comes first. Please visit ofo.com/bike-safety to find more information on safe biking tips, or check your city’s municipal website to learn more about your local bike safety laws and information.

for cities & universities

Does ofo require public subsidies to implement and operate its services?

No. ofo’s services do not rely on public subsidies or marketing and sponsorship opportunities. Furthermore, our model does not depend on expensive and unnecessarily large infrastructure. Thanks to this low impact, ofo’s platform is quite complementary to the policy goals of many cities and towns looking to increase cost-neutral commuter and recreational bicycling.

Does ofo redistribute bicycles across its areas of operation in the event of overconcentration?

Yes. One of the core functions of our maintenance and operations team is to redistribute bicycles to different areas of operation as demand requires. Using the embedded location tracking systems, we can determine the most effective distribution of bicycles based upon real-time usage patterns.

How does ofo ensure that bicycles are not blocking the public right of way?

  • ofo educates users and incentivizes them to adopt best riding practices to ensure that they comply with local laws and cycling etiquette. We are also always exploring more effective ways to minimize potential pedestrian inconvenience. We direct users to park bicycles:
    • Along the curb line and in other locations that are outside the flow of traffic.
    • In designated bicycle parking locations, such as preexisting bicycle racks.
  • We also instruct users never to chain, tie, secure or otherwise attach our bicycles in any way to any structure including but not limited to: parking meters, street lights, poles, benches, fences, subway entrances, trash receptacles, newsstands, or private property.

Does ofo have plans to install any infrastructure in public spaces?

No. ofo bicycles are self-secured and accounted for via app and GPS tracking. Since there is no need to secure them to a structure, no further specialized infrastructure is needed.