So it seems the bike share scheme in Melbourne has been a failure because of the compulsory helmet requirement. Wonder if there is any solution. I’d love to see this scheme take off, but who carries a helmet around in their purse? Oh, and it’s winter- not the best time to introduce a bike scheme is it…
Fewer than 70 trips are being made a day on Melbourne’s 600-bike system, a tiny number of journeys compared with the take-up rate seen in bigger schemes introduced in 135 cities around the world.
the only thing i can think of would be for anyone caught riding one in the CBD (just the gridlock and bike paths in the immedite vacinity to begin with) are given a free-pass.
the other problem atm is what do you do when you get to your destination and go to put the bike in the lock up, but there’s no free spots??
i was tempted to jump on one the other night to roll from cnr Queen/Collins down to Spencer station, but i’m yet to see a free spot in the rack at spencer after work would they let me take it home so i can ride it the next day??
really shit article by the age… So some sydney film maker says that the reason for the low uptake is due to the helmet laws, so what? This is why i hate the media, just spouts whatever they want to make a story. How about they ask cadel evans what the reason is?
Maybe melbourne is too small and the amount of stations are not enough, whats the method, whats the adverting etc etc etc
I think they did get the design wrong with each station only having as many spot as there are bicycles in the system. Unless i am missing something and the bikes get magically redistributed by blue bike fairys?
The helmet laws are a big deterrent for anyone; unfortunately the Melbourne CBD is not set-up like other European cities, particularly places like The Hague/Amsterdam, to be extremely bike friendly for these laws to be waived.
Besides, the psyche of the average Australian motorist is completely different to many European cities around the world where cyclists are respected, not seen as a nuisance, hence creating a safer environment.
It is also a factor that Melbourne CBD isn’t very big. You could walk from parliament to Southern Cross Station in under 15 minutes easily, so why trouble yourself with helmets and bike parking difficulties?
The bikes do get distributed around the system so there should be at least a few free spots at each station to return bikes to i think, have seen people come and move them around with utes during the day and around peak hour times. Also I think if you get to a station and there isnt a free spot you get more time or free time to go to the next station, or something like that cant remember exactly.
Still think it’s a poorly thought out system (ie helmets) and badly executed. I think it should have been launched in summer when people would actually use the bikes and begin to see how useful they can be, instead they’ve launched in the middle of winter and by the time summer comes around people will have forgotten all about them.
I think this is the best time of the year to have ‘started’ it. Unlike the launch of a new breakfast cereal, we haven’t seen a single poster or advertisement about the system. I expect this will happen in October when it’s starting to warm up.
Placing all the stations now and getting things working is probably a good idea to get all the kinks worked out while there is no pressure on the system. How many utes do they need, where do they park? which stations generally fill up and which empty out? Are there bugs when the paper runs out and how durable are the locking mechanisms?
I agree, the helmets will be an issue, and there probably arent enough bikes and stations for a city the size of Melbourne. (Vancouver - smaller than us 2,000 bikes and 200 stations - Melbourne 600/50). But this is what you get for $5million and I can’t imagine the government having spent more than that on something that has never been tested, it’s good that they are taking a risk.
I’d really like to see this succeed. I think the main market is all the people who dont currently ride but are interested (i.e. every car driver who doesnt throw things at you) which is quite a few
kinda pointless debate (but hey, that’s never stopped us before!).
There are 2 reasons:
the blindingly obvious one that it’s incredibly stupid to install a bike share system without some sort of helmet share system.
anyone that does already have a helmet in the city will just ride their own bike (that’s why they’ve got a helmet in the city to start with).
To me it’s just the council/state government paying lip service to being progressive/environmentally friendly while doing abso-fucking-lutely nothing (like they’ve done for the last 10 years) and taking more cash from the road/car lobby.
If they gave a shit they’d ban cars from swanston/ the whole CBD, install the copenhagen lanes along St K road (labor stopped that one after the council approved it) and introduce a congestion tax. Oh, and of course pay some attention to our city’s dismal, failing PT network.