When Chinese bikeshare startup Ofo abruptly exited St. Louis last summer, citing a “strategic restructuring” to focus on “a couple of markets in the U.S.,” it donated 257 of its yellow two-wheelers to St. Louis BWorks in Soulard.
“About 100 of them are in good shape. The rest are in various states of disrepair,” said Patrick Van Der Tuin, executive director of the nonprofit. “We’re disassembling some of the bikes to find parts for the others. Ultimately, we hope to repair about 200 of the bikes.”
And what will become of the rebranded BWorks bikes?
“We put out a call on social media looking for other nonprofits that can use them around St. Louis,” said Van Der Tuin. “We’ve had about 11 organizations make requests, everything from Bellefontaine Cemetery to Sierra Club to Forest ReLeaf. We’re looking for as many types of nonprofits as possible to get them back out into the community.”
Organizations interested in applying to receive a quantity of the bikes can answer a short questionnaire on the BWorks Facebook page: facebook.com/stlbicycleworks.
Those who would like to help offset the cost of the repairs that BWorks is conducting using mostly paid staff can make a financial donation at bworks.org/donate.