Chinese giant Mobike makes Albanian capital Tirana its first home in the Balkans

erion veliaj tirana mobike launch
Mayor Erion Veliaj leads a group of Mobike riders along a cycle path in Tirana's main boulevard

Tirana, Albania | June 11 (Tirana Echo) – Chinese bike rental giant Mobike has launched its services in Albania’s capital Tirana, making it the first home city in the Balkans to host the revolutionary new service of dockless bikes.

The service is a cooperation between Mobike, Municipality of Tirana and Italian ‘Mobike’ city of Florence.

Since it’s launch last week, Tirana’s streets have been glowing with the orange dockless bikes which can be parked anywhere across the central parts of the city. Users can simply download the Mobike App and unlock any bike parked freely on Tirana’s streets.

The Mobike team held an official launching event at the heart of Tirana’s “Skanderbeg’s Square” on June 8th, with Mayor Veliaj making a public announcement opening the service to the people of Tirana. Representatives of the embassies of Italy and China also gave remarks at the event.

Symbolically, Albania’s first 25 Mobikers led a public introduction to the service, helping other citizens of Tirana sign up and embark on a group bike ride around the square and out into the city. Apart from being available to its residents, the bike service is expected to also serve increasing numbers of tourists which visit the former communist capital and its many historical attractions.

The launch follows closely on the Municipality of Tirana and Mobike signing an agreement last week in support of the municipality’s ambitious plan to grow the number of bikes and reduce the use of cars in the city.

As Tirana always brings innovation, with the arrival of Mobike we become the first city in the Balkans to introduce the dockless bikeshare service. This is our moment to transform Tirana with a cell phone and a bike,” said Erion Veliaj, the young mayor of Tirana who has embarked upon an ambitious green transformation of the hugely polluted capital city.

During the past year Tirana’s main park and central streets have been paved with special dedicated bicycle lanes, while the city expects to start using electric buses in the coming months.

Mobike was established in Beijing, China in January 2015, and officially launched its service in Shanghai on April 22, 2016. Since then it has expanded to over 200 cities around the world, serving over 200 million users with a fleet of more than 9 million smart Mobikes across the world.

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