Last October, the Mountain View City Council granted permission for Lime Bike and Ofo to distribute 400 rental bikes throughout the city; and on May 8th, the new transportation service finally launched.
The bikes have also started to be used by students as an alternative form of transportation. The manual Ofo bikes, as well as the electrically powered Lime Bikes, can be accessed through smartphone apps.
Louie Sabio, a 10th-grade student, said that the new bikes are extremely convenient and affordable. According to Sabio, having an alternative to Uber or Lyft has saved him both money and time. The bikes can be unlocked for 30 minutes with a fee of $1, and a 15-cent surcharge is added for every extra minute, providing flexibility for students.
The new bike-share program allows students to leave the bike wherever they please due to a built-in GPS-tracking device. According to Sabio, this has also made the bikes more frequent in convenient spots.
“Whenever I need a way home a rental bike seems to be just yards away from me,” Sabio said.
Aimee Freeman, an MVHS parent, said that her son participates in several extracurriculars, making transportation difficult.
“Not having to go out of my way to pick him [her son]up and drop him off three to four times a day makes my life easier,” Freeman said.
Ofo bikes can be found by the tennis courts, baseball field, and on the bike racks that Freeman’s son and many other MVHS students use.
The affordable cost of the Ofo and Lime rental bikes allow students to use them multiple times a week. Freeman said that having parents know their child is never stranded at school without transportation is helpful.
“Knowing my son has a mode of transportation to get home from school or just dinner with his friends puts my mind at rest,” Freeman said.