Ofo confirms Seattle departure date, promises refunds to riders


Ofo bikes in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Seattle Ofo customers who prepaid for rides will be refunded according to an email the bikesharing company sent this week.

Ofo is shutting down operation in Seattle August 31. The company promises to refund customers the remaining balance on their accounts within 45 days of that date.

Ofo announced plans to leave Seattle after the city approved new regulations for dockless bikesharing companies in July. The Beijing-based company said the new $250,000 annual permit fee is the primary reason it is leaving the region. But Ofo has been shutting down in cities across the U.S. and cutting most of its American workforce.

After Ofo shut down in Dallas, a photo of dumped bicycles left behind went viral. Ofo said those bikes were in disrepair and would be recycled, while others were being donated to local charities.

In Seattle, Ofo is looking for nonprofit organizations to take its fleet of bright yellow bicycles.

“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,” said an Ofo spokesperson.

The email Ofo sent to Seattle riders is included below.

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