On Friday, Ofo sent emails to Seattle riders announcing plans to shut down its bikeshare program in the city. But the messages were sent in error, creating confusion over the weekend about Ofo’s future in Seattle.
“Because the emails were sent to users based on where they’ve ridden, not necessarily where they live, some users may have inadvertently gotten notifications about Ofo leaving cities where we may not be,” Ofo communications lead Taylor Bennett told GeekWire in a statement Sunday.
The Beijing-based company is pulling out of cities across the U.S. and laying off much of its American workforce. Ofo wouldn’t comment on whether or not it will stay in Seattle.
On Monday, the Seattle City Council is set to vote on permanent bikeshare regulations that would include a $250,000 annual permit fee. Ofo has been critical of the proposal in the past.
At a City Council meeting earlier this month Lina Feng, then Ofo’s Seattle general manager, said, “moving forward, we do strongly urge the city to consider the full implications of some of the regulations that are being discussed today and their longer impact on this nascent industry that’s been quickly consolidating.”
At the meeting, Feng went on to say that the fee could “pose a threat to the health of this industry.”
Ofo currently competes with Lime and Spin in Seattle. The three companies were permitted to launch in Seattle as part of a pilot program. That pilot has ended and the city is expected to vote on permanent bikeshare regulations Monday.