Business, Local Government and Politics

Bike sharing is coming to Lynn

Julie DeMauro, active living coordinator for Revere On the Move, demonstrates how to unlock one an ofo bicycle. (Spenser Hasak/File photo)

LYNN — One year ago, the only bicycles on the city’s streets were privately-owned.

But starting on June 1, two bike sharing companies will put dozens of yellow, green, and white bikes in popular locations available for rent.

The Beijing, China company ofo, which calls itself the world’s first and largest station-free bike sharing platform, is the second company to win city approval for a tryout. They are already operating in Quincy and Worcester and recently completed a test run in Revere.

ofo joins Ant Bicycle, the bike sharing program that launched last year in Swampscott. By year’s end, the city will decide whether to stick with one or both companies.

Both companies use similar ways to access a ride. To rent a bike, users download a mobile app and register an account. They then scan a QR code on the bicycle to unlock it and start the trip. When the trip’s over, the rider parks and locks the bike.

Ant charges $1 per hour, $20 per month and $100 annually, while ofo has a flat fee of $1 an hour.

Unlike Hubway, a competitor which rents 1,800 bikes at more than 185 locations in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, Ant and ofo do not have stations. Instead bikes can be found parked in the community’s high demand areas.

Also on Tuesday, the City Council approved a special permit for Old World Remedies to open the city’s first medical marijuana clinic on Western Avenue. Under the terms of the deal, the Marblehead-based operator must sign a host agreement with the city. The document is expected to provide the city with 3 percent of gross revenues.

James Smith, the company’s attorney, said in addition to providing Lynn with cash, the firm will donate the rest of its profits to charity. The marijuana will be grown in Grafton.

The Council also gave a thumbs up for a medical village to replace Partners HealthCare’s Union Hospital on Lynnfield Street. The two-story, $23 million facility is expected to open late next year and offer urgent care, lab and radiology services, and psychiatry services.

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