Bicycle share schemes: the way of the future?

Hi everybody,

As you may be aware, cycling has became much more popular worldwide in the last few years.

There are three main reasons.

1. The green factor: less pollution, less traffic jams, less carbons emissions, ...

2. Heath & fitness: The gentle type of exercise provided by cycling is one of the best type you can do to remain healthy. It has been claimed that regular cycling adds several years to your life. The same can be said about other forms of exercise though.

3. The bike share schemes that are spreading all other the major capital cities. Bike share schemes are a new form of transport. Imagine that, instead of having a bus stop, you had a collection of bicycles you could pick up and use. You arrive at the bicycle station, pick up a bike, ride to where you want to go, then leave it at the bicycle station closest to your destination. That's all. You don't have to worry about the bicycle after that. It's not your bike, it's just a bike you rented for the trip, say 30 minutes.

The rental cost is typically low, say $1. The whole point for the city is to get the community benefits from increasing bicycle usage: fewer traffic jams, less pollution, a healthier population requiring less medical attention.

It started in Paris in 2007. It was a huge success. Lots of other cites around Europe and North America have successfully replicated the system now. I think we are near 100 cities having implemented a bike share scheme now.

It is coming to Australia soon, with bike share schemes planned for Melbourne and Brisbane.

An Australian bicycle enthusiast has made an interesting video about the proposed Melbourne scheme:
http://datillo.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/bike-share-will-we-ever-get-it-here/

This has been noticed by one of the most prominent bicycle blog worldwide, a danish site:
http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/11/sue-mr-rubbo-and-australian-bixis.html

This has triggered a lively debate regarding the wisdom of our rather unique compulsory helmet law. Unfortunately, it is difficult for a bike share scheme to work if you must wear a helmet. None of the other bike share scheme worldwide have to accomodate a compulsory helmet law.

It is an interesting issue, because if it was successful in Australia, it would increase the quality of life in our cities. Imagine a city with much fewer traffic jams, mostly gentle traffic, less pollution, and people enjoying the benefits of regular exercise. It could stop the dreadful rise in obesity, and its large associated cost, we are experiencing in this country.

We have become so car dependent that it might be difficult to imagine for some people.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out. I would love to see our cities transformed into bicycle-friendly places, like Holland is now.

The way of the future? Who knows. At least it is a more sustainable way to live, that actually benefits us as well.

Maybe I'm just dreaming. ;)

Cheers,
 
I've seen this in Amsterdam and it works good there.

But I can tell you that it won't work here in the immediate future/generation. The bikes will get knicked or thrown into the river/lake. Either that, they'll get vandalised.

Unfortunately there are elements in the Aussie society that do not want our communities to be clean, safe and friendly - and the laws aren't strong enough to deter these elements.

Secondly, our cities are not very bike commuter friendly. Car drivers do not respect cyclists and too many cyclists insist on running lights and/or riding on footpaths.

We'd need a complete cultural shift on many fronts for the bike sharing scheme to work here.



Thanks


g
 
What a fantastic idea.

Another arm to the public transport system.

Bring it on I say...


Problem is, you know how it is; someone is bound to get knocked over by a car, and will sue the Gubbmint for providing the opportunity (the hire bikes) to get injured/killed, and that'll be the end of it.

"I mean; if it wasn't for the Gubbmint providing these cheap hire bikes, I'd not have been injured." :rolleyes:
 
hi
will the bikes have insurance.
as they don't now
will they be require to have a form of license to understand road rules
they don't now
and will there be anyform of any type of knowledge test or language test
they don't have now
this form of transport is they only one I know that is allowed go buy a second hand one with out anyform of checking if its in anyform of road worthyness jump on and ride in traffic on the pavement anywhere you like into a shop if you want no isurance needed run into anyone you care and swear all you like and at worse jump off and buy another one for 20 bucks and do it again.
I think you can even get away with DUI.
bring on more yep why not its not the only crazy thing in this world.
make them fast as well so they can hit more cars and run down more walkers.
great idea love it
 
Agree with gg1965.

Have seen this system in different parts of Europe and only the occassional bike in a river or similar (may have been done by tourist, who knows), but can't imagine Sydneysiders taking to the idea.

Personally, I love the idea and hope I am wrong with my view that it wouldn't take off.

Regards
Marty
 
I think it's a great idea but it probably won't take of here.

Bikes are not very popular in Australia because our roads are unsafe for bikes and because of the long distances we have to travel.
The cities in Europe are much more compact.

Also, there are not many bicycle lanes here but even when we see some they are shared with cars so they are unsafe to use.

Why can't local governents spend money to make dedicated bicycle lanes so that we don't have to rely on roads and risk our lives? and why we can't ride on footpaths although our footpaths are wide enough to accomodate both pedestrians and bicycles?
 
Bikes are not very popular in Australia because our roads are unsafe for bikes and because of the long distances we have to travel.
The cities in Europe are much more compact.

?


I certainly agree that our roads are unsafe.

The density of cities is a bit confusing though? It seems to me that citys that are densly populated would have nowhere for dedicated pushbike lanes anyway. How would you do it in New York, or even the Sydney CBD? It couldn't be done, as there simply is no room.

A place like Canberra that is spread out has room for pushbike lanes, and so it has pushbike lanes, and on my recent visit down there, I saw more pushbikers than I've seen just about anywhere.

Our weather would suit pushbikes too. Just out of interest, I checked out Copenhagens weather. The place has an average maximum of just 2 degrees in January and February, and 20 frosty mornings a month :eek: I wonder does the pushbike usage drop off in those months, and if it did, you would still need the public transport infrastructure for those periods anyway? I just can't imagine anyone pushbiking when it's freezing with frost on the road?


See ya's.
 
Vienna has/had a system where the bikes (painted bright pink to deter theft) are locked up similar to shopping trolleys at certain stands dotted around the CBD. You rent one by putting a 1-2 euro coin in to release it or unlock it. You get refunded when you return the bike to one of the stands around the city.

... and why we can't ride on footpaths although our footpaths are wide enough to accomodate both pedestrians and bicycles?

It needs a cultural shift as gg1965 pointed out and people in Oz don't seem to be ready for it yet... reasons have been already pointed out plus we tend to get aggro easily over invasion of our personal space (compared to other cultures). It will work if people who rent these bikes ride slowly and pedestrians keep an eye out for them.

I've seen bikes and pedestrians share the same footpaths and public areas safely with no accidents :eek:
 
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The density of cities is a bit confusing though? It seems to me that citys that are densly populated would have nowhere for dedicated pushbike lanes anyway. How would you do it in New York, or even the Sydney CBD? It couldn't be done, as there simply is no room.

I've seen bikes and pedestrians share the same footpaths and public areas safely with no accidents :eek:

I'm sure there's a way to implement it without the need for dedicated bike paths.
 
australinas thnk like this.

"....what's easier....?"
"....what's cheaper....?"
"....am i saving time or money....?"

if the answer is no to just ONE of them - aussies won't go for it.

love the convict metality.
 
It would be great if our cities became more European like, more bicycles and less of the 9-5 lets get home as fast as possible so we can watch neighbors or the footy. Unfortunately there are too many bogans in Australia so the bike idea would struggle here with all our speeding, hoons & dangerous drivers, terrible roads and in the case of Sydney, one of the worst transport systems in the world with some of the ugliest streets and roads. People don't really care here, kids are taught to get drunk at an early age, teenagers drive while drunk and so do adults and just drive along any road near a rail and the place is scattered with litter. Cyclists would be cursed off the road if they grew anymore in numbers, we would slow down the rat race, the people racing home.... If this all changed It would be great but i DOUBT IT. I cycle all the time but often I have to ride carefully on the footpath to avoid road raging drivers. I'm sure most of the bikes would get stolen or vandalized here as there are many people who just think of themselves. It is totally different in Europe, people just think better and care about things although there are Aussies that do to but too many don't. We need to change the stupid mentality here before we move on to things like this...
 
I cycle all the time but often I have to ride carefully on the footpath to avoid road raging drivers.

I am far from one of the bogans you are describing, but cyclists drive me INSANE! :mad: I drive along Beach Road in Melbourne every day, and cyclists cause me more stress than drivers. They hold up traffic, break laws and what annoys me the most is when you get to a traffic light they cycle up to the front to hold you up again rather than just sitting back staying in their place behind you. I try to get as close to the gutter as possible to deter them getting in front. Actually no, what annoys me most is they don't use the bike path which is available for part of the Beach Road trip, they use the roads! They should HAVE to use bike lanes/paths whenever they are available rather than the roads and also they should be registered so they can be identified so they don't just roll through red lights without a care in the world. So maybe the driver mentality of aggression towards a lot of cyclists is brought on by the cyclists and is well deserved.

And I sure as hell would never swap my car for a bicycle. I only drive a small hatchback so my pollution doesn't compare to the 4WD's I see everywhere around where I live near the city.
 
I am far from one of the bogans you are describing, but cyclists drive me INSANE! :mad:

I feel very sorry for you - perhaps it is worth seeking some professional help for this issue?

Actually no, what annoys me most is they don't use the bike path which is available for part of the Beach Road trip, they use the roads!

Ever wondered why this might be the case? It might actually be faster? It might be strewn with glass? It might have lots of erratic pedestrians on it slowing them down? I don't know the road you refer to but I use the road if I can because it's faster and I need to get somewhere just like everyone else. Bike paths are generally just too slow for my purpose and it has always been perfectly legal to ride on the road so I suggest you get used to it...

They should HAVE to use bike lanes/paths whenever they are available rather than the roads

Here we go - we need more laws telling us what we can and can't do just so you don't have to worry about sharing the road with some cyclists? That must be such a pain for you....

What about the pedestrians with their little kids who would have to share the bike path with speeding cyclists - do you really want to inflict that on them?

and also they should be registered so they can be identified so they don't just roll through red lights without a care in the world.

Cyclists don't run red lights - people run red lights! Running red lights is illegal. Some cyclists do it and some cars do it. Has registration stopped cars running red lights? Not the ones who would take me out if I wasn't careful... Police book cyclists who run red lights with the same offence as car drivers. No problem here - we now have registrations and licences to drive a car, command a boat, go fishing and you want to add riding a bicycle to that list? Onya...

So maybe the driver mentality of aggression towards a lot of cyclists is brought on by the cyclists and is well deserved.

Not to mention the drivers who try to run me off the road in the mornings while doing their makeup, texting and with the stereo on. With that logic, therefore all car drivers are idiots because a few are. I ride a bicycle and I wish to continue to legally share the road - is that too much to ask?

Back on topic, Perth would be a good place for this with an extensive network of bike paths (other than in the CBD but this is changing) for those who like the slow pace... I can see it working if it was initially networked around the tourist areas (river, city, kings park, northbridge etc) and grown from there. It would be ideal for tourists - commuters would still need shower facilities at work in our heat though.
 
It might have lots of erratic pedestrians on it slowing them down?

Now this is hilarious! It's ok for cyclists to slow down cars, but not for pedstrians to slow down cyclists. Oh dear, I guess this is the mentality of cyclists, I should feel sorry for them rather than get angry with them.
 
Now this is hilarious! It's ok for cyclists to slow down cars, but not for pedstrians to slow down cyclists. Oh dear, I guess this is the mentality of cyclists, I should feel sorry for them rather than get angry with them.

Just one of many reasons why I choose to continue my perfectly legal use of the road.

BTW, I haven't noticed any cars slowing down enough for me on my bike for it to make any difference to their journey time...
 
I am far from one of the bogans you are describing, but cyclists drive me INSANE! :mad: I drive along Beach Road in Melbourne every day, and cyclists cause me more stress than drivers. They hold up traffic, break laws and what annoys me the most is when you get to a traffic light they cycle up to the front to hold you up again rather than just sitting back staying in their place behind you. I try to get as close to the gutter as possible to deter them getting in front. Actually no, what annoys me most is they don't use the bike path which is available for part of the Beach Road trip, they use the roads! They should HAVE to use bike lanes/paths whenever they are available rather than the roads and also they should be registered so they can be identified so they don't just roll through red lights without a care in the world. So maybe the driver mentality of aggression towards a lot of cyclists is brought on by the cyclists and is well deserved.

And I sure as hell would never swap my car for a bicycle. I only drive a small hatchback so my pollution doesn't compare to the 4WD's I see everywhere around where I live near the city.

Well as I said in my last post "We need to change the stupid mentality here before we move on to things like this...":rolleyes:
 
Agree with you 100% - the mentality of cyclists who think they own the road and can do as they please is VERY stupid!

Well I doubt your ever change with that outlook but let's look at your post in more detail:

I am far from one of the bogans you are describing, but cyclists drive me INSANE!
Actually you sound like the exact person I was describing. Selfish, in a hurry, naive, a hoon and you love the rat race.

I drive along Beach Road in Melbourne every day, and cyclists cause me more stress than drivers. They hold up traffic, break laws and what annoys me the most is when you get to a traffic light they cycle up to the front to hold you up again rather than just sitting back staying in their place behind you.
I'm quite shocked and actually frightened by that. It scares me to think there really are people like you on the road. You are a dangerous and selfish individual. All you think of is yourself, you have no regard to the safety of others. You think your life revolves around you and your pathetic car. Well I have news for you, there are people in this world that also need to use the road and maybe not all of them want to drive a car for various reasons which might include; they can't afford to, they prefer to be environmentally conscious ( obviously you would not understand this), they want to keep fit & healthy or for many other reasons. Cars pollute the planet and are extremely dangerous and people with attitudes like you are what makes this country so messed up at times. Where has the culture gone?

I try to get as close to the gutter as possible to deter them getting in front. Actually no, what annoys me most is they don't use the bike path which is available for part of the Beach Road trip, they use the roads!
You really do sound a very dangerous driver for cyclists. I'm appalled to hear you basically cut them off which is highly illegal and dangerous.

They should HAVE to use bike lanes/paths whenever they are available rather than the roads and also they should be registered so they can be identified so they don't just roll through red lights without a care in the world. So maybe the driver mentality of aggression towards a lot of cyclists is brought on by the cyclists and is well deserved.
Well deserved you think, how well deserved is it when so many cyclists are sent to hospital or killed each year from the dangerous drivers on our roads like you. Cyclists are extremely vulnerable as the most protection we have is a helmet, while you sit in the comfort and safety of your car and cyclists are no threat to you. There are hardly any bike paths in Australia and when they do exist I aways use them as I hardly ever use the road as I'm too aware of the threat of my life ending from people like you.

And I sure as hell would never swap my car for a bicycle. I only drive a small hatchback so my pollution doesn't compare to the 4WD's I see everywhere around where I live near the city.
Yes I can see that, it's very obvious you hate bikes so you can justify all this bs as you drive a hatchback?
 
i drive.

cyclists cycle.

if they get in the way of a 1.5t moving object with immense momentum and an opeartor with a minimum 0.4sec reaction time - then really, they only have themselves to blame.

did you know, BLINKING at 100kph covers 2.5 metres?
did you know, SNEEZING at 100kph covers 30 metres?
did you know that 100kph is 33m - EVERY SECOND?

a bike can stop over 5 times shorter than a car. a pedestrian can stop over 5 times shorter again than a bike.

yet the order of who gives way to who is reversed.
 
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