Share bike providers, Ofo, are pulling out of Australia due to public backlash. Their exit reveals a rather obvious truth.
This afternoon, Ofo, the share-bicycle enterprise announced that they will stop operating in Australia due to vociferous public complaint. Despite that fact that both oBike and Mobike will ride on, it’s clearly a matter of time until the bell dingles for them.
Today’s decision was universally met with the strains of confirmation bias, oscillating between ‘good riddance’ and ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’.
And yes, they were mainly transport for the impulsively drunk, and it’s why they suddenly popped up in our front yards. They were the bindi patch of the new millennium. An unwelcome eyesore that caused very personal damage if you happen to fall on it. They were problematic, sure, but a bicycle doesn’t just fall over by itself. The users, we the problem, not the companies that presented us an alternative. We just couldn’t handle it.
To be fair, the exodus of Ofo seems to be a fairly decent metaphor for the confused modern Australia we happen to be.
We’re halfway stuck between trying to be Denmark and trying too hard. One citizen’s treasured public transport alternative is another’s trash on their council strip. However, the mountain of abandoned utopian cogs piled on our doorstep should serve as a lesson. We were faced with a type of future, and we burned with angry fire.
We’ve seemingly got a problem with things that the rest of the world has adopted. Share bicycles, reusable plastic bags.
Perhaps it was too good an idea for us. Maybe we were the critics when one of us created the wheel, and was laughed out of the cave for daring to propose an alternative to walking.
According to the spokesman tasked to relay the news, Ofo promised to banish the devil bicycles to a dusty warehouse, never to see the light of Australian day again. Problem solved.
But if we treat them like the lost ark, then we’re really just taking the toys away, not addressing the childish behaviour of who wielded it. Therefore, history will be doomed to repeat, as we as a nation will again travel backward, not atop a new means of opportunity, but on the side of the road, complaining about a skinned knee that no-one can see.