Melbourne - Bike share scheme disappointing

פורסם: 17 ביולי 2011, 2:37 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 9 באוק׳ 2011, 7:18 ]

17/5/2011, Benjamin Preiss  

Does bike sharing have a future in Melbourne? Watch video: click here to watch

Under used and under fire, as Melbourne's embattled bike-sharing scheme hits its first anniversary, we look at how it could be improved

One year since its launch the Melbourne bike share scheme has failed to gain traction with rider numbers falling short of expectations.

A key bicycle group says awkward pick-up points and a wet summer are among the problems to have dampened enthusiasm for the Melbourne Bike Share.

Compulsory helmet laws added to the project's woes with riders forced to bring a helmet or buy one before hiring a bike.

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Melbourne's bike share scheme.

Melbourne's bike share scheme station at Melbourne University. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Bicycle Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan said support for the scheme was disappointing.

"I think that we didn't expect a spectacular uptake because the numbers of bike stations are limited," Mr Brennan said.

"For the limited number of stations that are available it's still disappointing."

The scheme, which allows cyclists to hire bikes from stands across the city, has been plagued with problems since it was introduced.

Mr Brennan said car parking on main roads should be converted into bike docking stations.

Earlier this month the City of Melbourne revealed plans to provide on-street bicycle parking in "high demand locations".

According to the council's latest draft transport strategy, better bicycle parking would help to increase rider numbers.

Cyclists can hire about 600 bikes from 50 docking stations across the city and inner suburbs.

Riders must pay a $50 annual subscription, a weekly or a daily fee to hire the bicycles.

The first 30 minutes are free for subscribers.

RACV general manager of motoring and mobility, Gordon Oakley, said he expected the number of trips to reach 25,000 a month in the scheme's second year.

He said riders were making up to 13,000 trips a month compared with about 8500 in December.

But riders need to make about 15,000 trips a month for the scheme to break even.

Mr Oakley said the scheme had failed to attract some groups of cyclists.

"We know that most of our regular users are in fact business people," he said. "We actually thought we'd do better with students than we have."

In opposition, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said Melbourne Bike Share was becoming a "white elephant".

The Age is seeking comment from Mr Mulder.


Comments (talkbacks to the story): the word "helmet" is mentioned 100 times
- I can't speak for others, but I don't use the system because of the helmet requirement
- Scrap the mandatory helmet law.
- Helmet laws clearly the problem. These schemes are in France, Italy and the Low Countries and they work very well, it's a great pleasure to see those cities by bike, better than any sort of bus tour. But the trick is convenience - you can pretty much just walk up and use one, without preactivating an account, or looking around for a helmet.

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