Earlier this year, La Reina, a municipality of Santiago, Chile, launched the first pilot test of Mobike in Chile. Now, the municipality of Las Condes will join La Reina in making 2000 bikes available over the next few months.
Mobike is a Chinese bike-sharing company that in 2017 received a US$600M investment from Tencent Holdings, one of China’s largest companies. The bikes can be unlocked by scanning a QR code on the app, which connects to a payments system backed by a credit card. They do not use chains, but rather are unlocked using batteries that are charged by pedaling.
Right now, as the program debuts, the first seven days are free for new users. After the trial period, you can sign up for a monthly, quarterly, or per-ride payment program, where thirty minutes costs around 400 Chilean pesos, just under US$1.
Mobike is now active in 14 countries around the world and has over 200 million users. In Chile, the governments of La Reina and Las Condes are looking forward to using Mobike to modernize their bike-sharing systems, which have been clunky until now.
Still, Chile has struggled in some ways to implement Mobike, since many people are unused to keeping a bike without a chain or lock. There have been incidents of bikes being kept in homes, carried away in cars, or even chained by their users. As Mobike becomes more common, these problems will likely decrease.
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