Bluegogo Suspends Bay Area Service: Five Observations

After much initial hubub and curiosity, Bluegogo, a venture Chinese bikeshare start-up, announced it would suspend operations in the Bay Area market. The move comes amid heavy scrutiny from city officials, bike advocates and public space managers, especially with regard to the company’s somewhat notorious operational model, which consists of unloading tens of thousands of bikes into the urban streetscape, with little regard for how they’re organized or maintained.

Though company officials are maintaining a brave public face, this development can only be viewed as a substantial setback. San Francisco, with its bike-friendly and tech- forward culture, was viewed as one of the most promising locations for this new breed of bikeshare start-ups, and these early setbacks don’t bode well for future competitiveness in the market.

Here are five observations:


Bike Share Newcomers Face Rough Road In US & Europe

Recently when Bluegogo, a Chinese bikeshare company, announced plans for a Bay Area launch, public officials responded with a public smackdown. To the chagrin of public space managers, Bluegogo intended a repeat of their Chinese strategy; setting loose up to 100,000 bikes onto city streets, which would then become disorganized clutter on sidewalk racks. Citing this, city officials threatened to clip the company’s bikes and to, essentially, outlaw its operations. In response, Bluegogo resorted to a far more conservative operational model, but that hasn’t stopped the city from pursuing additional punitive measures, with the hopes of deterring copycats.