What will happen to all the discarded ofo bikes around Seattle?

Aug 9, 2018, 2:03 PM | Updated: Aug 10, 2018, 10:29 am
ofo, bikeshare, bike share...
Bicycles of Mobike, ofo and other Chinese bike-sharing services are piled up in the demolition site of a shanty town in Shanghai, China, 15 June 2018. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
(Imaginechina via AP Images)

As bikeshare company ofo shuts down its operations in Seattle, its bikes remain scattered along many city streets and leads many to wonder what will happen to the discarded bicycles.

Will Seattle face a “bikeshare graveyard” situation so many have heard of in China? Perhaps nothing so dramatic, but it is likely that many of the bright yellow bikes will be sticking around town in one way or another.

RELATED: Bellevue launches all-electric bikeshare

GeekWire recently reported that Dallas, Texas is learning how to deal with piles of ofo bikes left in its city. The bikeshare company is headquartered in China and is pulling out of cities across the United States, including Seattle, while laying off many of its employees. A photo from Dallas has made the rounds, showing a massive pile of ofo bikes at a recycling facility. Bikes that are still in good condition are being donated to Dallas’ CitySquare and Bikes for Tykes.

The company has released this statement regarding its leftover bikes in cities like Seattle:

As we wind down select markets, we remain committed to environmental sustainability and will continue to donate ofo bikes in good working condition to local communities and recycle all bikes when they’re beyond repair or no longer able to use. And since we’re still serving other markets across the US, we are also repurposing assets for those cities.

In short, broken bikes go to the recycling bin, and usable bikes get sent to cities where ofo is still up and running, or they will be donated to local organizations in bulk. The bikeshare company is currently scouting Seattle-area organizations where it can donate its bikes, according to ofo spokesperson Taylor Bennett. Bennett further notes that the process will take some time.

The company is sticking to either recycling or donating in bulk, so people angling to get a free discarded ofo bike are out of luck.


An ofo bike spotted at a trail head in Leavenworth, Wash. (Michael Simeona, KIRO Radio)

Some, however, seem to have already taken ofo bikes out of town as KIRO Radio employee Michael Simeona discovered while taking a hike around Leavenworth, Wash.

Local News

Federal Way gun buyback...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Federal Way’s gun buyback runs out of gift cards early

Hundreds of unwanted firearms were turned in Saturday in Federal Way’s first ever gun buyback. Owners received a gift card in return.
17 hours ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
17 hours ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
What will happen to all the discarded ofo bikes around Seattle?