Urbo, the urban mobility solutions business, has announced that it will become the sole dockless bike sharing solution in Ipswich, following an exclusive deal signed with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.
The deal will initially see 100 of Urbo’s app-operated dockless bikes, which are intended both as a local business resource and a public service, on the roads of Ipswich in March 2018, increasing to 500 bikes during Summer 2018.
Urbo, which is committed to collaborating on public health initiatives in the UK, will play a key role in supporting Suffolk County Council’s Suffolk Cycling Strategy, an initiative which aims to help Suffolk become the most active county in England. The Strategy aims to encourage residents of Ipswich and Suffolk, more widely, to include cycling as part of their everyday lives, establishing it as a normal form of transport for everyone across the county.
As the scheme gains traction in Ipswich, the intention is that the dockless bike service will help to serve the local business community as a cheap, efficient and environmentally friendly alternative for short-distance commutes and business journeys.
Tom McGovern, co-founder of Urbo, said: “We’re delighted to play a role in supporting the vision for a more mobile local workforce and a healthier community. Integrating effectively with the community is one of our core values, and we have found the perfect partners in Ipswich and Suffolk due to these shared values.
“Trends in integrated urban mobility are always changing and we believe that bike sharing platforms are the first stepping stone towards more deeply integrated urban mobility systems everywhere. We look forward to serving the local community’s transport needs for many years to come.”
Ipswich Borough Cllr Carole Jones, planning portfolio-holder and a keen cyclist said: “I’m really looking forward to Urbo coming to Ipswich in March. These dockless bikes offer residents, business people and students alike a great opportunity to get across town quickly and cheaply – and get fit into the bargain. It could also mean fewer car journeys and start a cycle revolution in the town.”
Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Ipswich, Cllr Paul West said: “I wish Urbo the best of luck as they introduce these bikes to Ipswich over the next few months. They’ll provide everybody with a great alternative choice of transport to move around the town, particularly students travelling to study at the University campus on the waterfront.”
Urbo’s platform offers greater flexibility than existing bike schemes because it requires no docking stations, and each half-hour journey will cost just 50p. Urbo bikes are digitally operated, with users able to locate and unlock bikes on their smart-phone app.
Each bike is equipped with smart-lock technology and built-in GPS, with data ensuring optimum re-distribution of bikes. Urbo, in partnership with Government and city officials, will use collective technology and data responsibly to improve transport integration.