Gobee.bike is pulling out of Paris after thousands of its bicycles were stolen or vandalized.
“Over the months of December and January, the mass destruction of our fleet has become the new entertainment of underaged individuals, encouraged by content broadly shared on social media,” the Hong Kong startup wrote in an email to its Parisian users, according to The Telegraph.
The company, which was one of the first Asian dockless bike share operators that launched in Paris last year, explained that more than 1,000 bikes had been stolen and 3,400 had been vandalized. While the company boasts 150,000 users across France, it has become no longer viable for Gobee.bike to remain in operation in the City of Light.
Unfortunately, Paris isn’t the only city where Gobee.bike has seen the destruction and theft of its bicycles. Similar issues plagued the company in the northern cities of Lille and Reims, as well as the Belgian capital Brussels. It has ceased operations in all of these locations.
Gobee.bike also reported that in the Italian cities of Rome, Milan and Turin, 60 percent of its fleet has been vandalized, stolen or dumped in rivers, causing the company to pull out of those locations as well.
There are now three Asian-operated bike share firms remaining in Paris: Singapore’s oBike, with around 1,800 grey-orange bikes, and two Chinese firms: Ofo, with about 1,000 yellow bikes and Mobike, with several thousand red bikes.
The companies entered the market as Paris has been experiencing issues with switching over its own Velib fleet – which has around 300,000 users – to new models, as well as making one-third of the bikes electric. But by early February, only 200 of about 1,400 planned docking stations were up and running, and only a small amount of the planned fleet of 20,000 bikes are operating at this time.