Bike-share start-up shuts down after four months

Lime green liveried gobee.bike cycles at a stand, ready for hire

Gobee.bike blames 'minors' as it ends operations in France

Cycle-share startup Gobee.bike has shut down its French operation after just four months due to high levels of theft and vandalism

The company had previously axed services in Lille and Reims, as well as Brussels, but had hoped to keep operating in Paris and Lyon.

But the Hong Kong-based company has now said the number of thefts and levels of criminal damage meant its operation was unsustainable in France.

Since it started operating, more than 3,000 of its cycles had been damaged, more than 1,000 had been stolen, 6500 needed repairs, and 280 police complaints had been filed, the company said in a statement.

It added: "Over the months of December and January, the mass destruction of our fleet intensified by becoming the new pastime of individuals, most often minors."

The easily recognisable bright-green cycles were available to registered clients and could be located using an app on users' smartphones.

After paying a €15 deposit, users could hire the bikes for €0.50 an hour, and once they have arrived at their destination, leave the cycles anywhere.

The company has donated its bikes to organisations that will recycle and reuse them.

Three similar bike hire services - Ofo (yellow bikes), Obike (orange) and Mobike (orange and grey) - have also recently launched in France.

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