Yellow looks good on you: Everything you need to know about Ofo’s arrival in Revere

Ava Rocino, Staff Writer

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Have you noticed the clusters of yellow bikes on street curbs all around the city of Revere? These bikes were brought in by a company called Ofo, a Beijing-based bicycle sharing company founded in 2014. The bikes were brought into Revere as part of a program testing if their presence would be an asset to the city and all its residents. If the pilot is successful by the end of the trial, the bikes will be brought back into the city in 2018. They were brought in on October 2nd, and the pilot was set to run for the next 8 weeks, weather permitting. There were 200 bikes brought into the city with the help of the Revere on the Move program, which is helping people in Revere improve their health and activity levels.

In order to use the bikes, there is a digital app system that allows you to unlock your bicycle and pay for your trip. The app is free- just look up “Ofo” in your app store. The app is both iPhone and Android compatible, so there’s no worry about paying for your bike. Upon opening, the app asks you to either log in or make an account. To make your account, you need an email address and a phone number. Simply type those in, and within seconds, you will receive a text with a four-digit confirmation number that is required in the next step. Just type it in, and your account is complete.

There is a brief four-slide tutorial explaining how to use the system. First, you find a bike within the city. This step isn’t too difficult, since the bikes were placed at street corners along Broadway, in front of businesses, and even outside of our own RHS, and they’re a bright shade of yellow. Next, you open your app and scan the QR code found on the bike, which unlocks the bike. After you end your trip, there is a lock on the back of the bike that you turn to signify that your ride has ended. The bikes cost one dollar an hour to use, and you pay at the end of your trip. This is a great option around the city for pedestrians to move quickly and efficiently from one place to another, like a home or work commute, or running fast errands since the bikes have baskets conveniently located between the handlebars.

After seeing and hearing so much about these bikes, I decided that I had to check out the system for myself. I live in a pretty secluded area of Revere. So, finding a bike wasn’t as easy for me as it would’ve been for most kids. However, the app features a tracking system that helps you find bikes in your area, which helped me to find a bike a street over from mine. In order to unlock the bike, all I had to do was scan the QR code on the back of the bike, just like the tutorial slides said. Next, the app provides a 4-digit code that you type into the keypad on the back of the bike. This unlocked it, and I was free to ride the bike wherever I wanted. When I was done, I left the bike on a street corner, slid the lock into place, and tapped the button on the app to end my trip.

The bottom line is: the bikes are an efficient way to move around the city, even though the app technically states that the bikes are only to be used by people 18 years or older. I feel like there’s a pretty strong chance that the bikes will come back in the spring next year since they’ve been such a great addition to the community thus far. If you haven’t checked out these bikes yet, I suggest that you use them to move around the city, since they’re a fun transportation option that we’re really lucky to have.

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Yellow looks good on you: Everything you need to know about Ofo’s arrival in Revere