Like several other local transportation officials in the U.S. in recent weeks, Eric Bourassa of the Boston area’s planning council has fielded meeting requests from Ofo, China’s fast-growing bike-share company. Ofo is considering a major expansion into the U.S. and is discussing options with officials in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston, according to people in those cities.
Cracking those markets could be tough for Ofo and rival Chinese startup Mobike, which is also trying to expand here. Most large U.S. cities already have an extensive bike-share program in place run by a single company, often with exclusive rights to operate. Ofo, which raised $700 million last week from Alibaba and others, hopes to get a shot at competing with those established operators.