On May 1, 2018, Get Healthy Camden partner Coopers Ferry Partnership (CFP), together with Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Center, and bike-sharing company ofo launched a bike share feasibility and demonstration program for the City of Camden called Camden Bike Share. The program will run through December 31, 2018.
The ofo bike share model is a dockless system of bright yellow bikes that can be borrowed as needed for $1 per hour. The service does not use parking docks that line curbs like in other cities; instead, customers download and use the ofo app to find and reserve an available bike nearby. Upon reaching the reserved bike, the customer uses the keypad beneath the seat to enter a code provided by the app. The customer is then able to unlock the bike and ride to their destination. To lock the bike at the end of their trip, the rider manually pushes a lever on the rear of the bike and leaves it behind for the next rider. The bikes have GPS units, allowing customers – and the ofo operations team – to track their availability around the city. Users can ride anywhere within Camden city limits. Watch a demonstration here.
Several hundred bikes have been deployed throughout the City of Camden. On a weekly basis throughout this pilot program, the ofo operations team will assess bike usage, reposition improperly stationed bicycles, such as those tied to fire hydrants or blocking sidewalks, as well as collect and redistribute bikes throughout the city. The team will also deploy additional bikes as needed.
The ofo app that provides access to the bikes is available on both iTunes and Google Play. Customers are required to link a credit or debit card to their accounts to unlock the bikes. However, making the bikes accessible to all Camden residents is an important aspect of this feasibility and demonstration program. We are piloting an equity component for Camden residents who do not possess a credit or bank card. On a first-come, first-served basis, Camden residents can purchase prepaid bank cards from CFP. Each prepaid cards costs $15, and provides a $25 value. Contact the Camden Bike Share program team for details on obtaining a prepaid card.
To provide your feedback on the Camden Bike Share demonstration program, and learn about our other work to build a healthier community, connect with our project director here, and follow us on Facebook.