Melbourne city bike share

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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby human909 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:07 pm

martinjs wrote:Not sure what Denver s public transport system's like but I do remember the tram system in Melbourne's CBD is pretty good. If you buy a all day or weekly pass it's really handy to travel around the CBD by tram or the city loop. Used to do it all the time when shopping or going to the city for work.
As for tourist doesn't Melbourne have that free city loop tram that runs all day? They'd all be competition for the Bike share program.

Martin


Yep. The Melbourne bikeshare faces challenges. Whats new. Nobody is doubting that Martin. But that hasn't stopped Melbourne becoming the busiest cycle commuting city in Australia. But you might not know that being not from around here.

But only the obtuse doubt that the helmet laws are a massive impediment to the success of the Bikeshare. Even the government has recognized the problem, its just their solution fails to address it properly.

jules21 wrote:also the lack of functional public transport in the US may boost bike hire numbers. the problem with the Melbourne scheme is that it is located in the exact zone within which our PT is very convenient. what they should have done is target PT 'dead zones'.


Bikeshare belongs in the highly trafficked parts of the city. It can replace walking and PT as transport choices. I find it odd that the same people who argue that helmets are not a major impediment are also arguing that PT is a competitor. PT wins out easily as you don't need to carry a helmet to ride a tram.
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by BNA » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:35 pm

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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby martinjs » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Spent 15 years living and working in Melbourne, rode to work for about 2 years, did the great Melbourne bike ride for about 4 years and rode on and off for most of that time, including family rides on then fairly good bike paths around the Preston, Reservoir area.
I was also a member of Bicycle Victoria for 3 years. Don't live in Melbourne but as previously stated I still visit family down their and was in the Eastern Suburbs just this year.

I know my information is not as up to date as it used to be but still not total in the dark.
I hope the scheme works, I just feel the problems and uptake issues are more then simple "the helmet law"
Like others here I have no proof of that, just my opinion.

Probably spent more time riding around on my First Kawasaki Z750 and later my Goldwing then the pushy. :oops:

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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby il padrone » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:15 pm

high_tea wrote:
il padrone wrote:Well, keep your eyes out for any info on Denver's B-cycle bikeshare scheme.

Denver Metro pop'n - ~3.9 million
Denver pop' density - ~1700 people per square km.

Pretty much like Melbourne, a dispersed suburban city. The one key difference is they don't have a helmet compulsion law. Bit of a different response, huh?

The program, which has expanded to include 43 stations and 420 bicycles, is averaging 700-1,000 rides per day.

As compared to Melbourne's 150 hires per day :|


Correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation.

Yes, OK. But it is kind of plain as the nose on your face. Surveys of the public done prior to the scheme starting and some public interviews I have seen have identified the helmet law as a real deal-breaker for many. It really is the case that a bike share scheme aimed at occasional, spontaneous non-cyclist users will be held back by the requirement to plan ahead to bring and carry a helmet (that you may not even possess) about with you all day.

high_tea wrote:[Where else has bikeshare + MHLs been tried? There's Brisbane, but it only started this month...

And it faces a similar fate, with other local facors that will make it even harder (hilly CBD and inner suburbs, hot and humid conditions for a long part of the year, aggressive drivers by all accounts).
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby jules21 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:29 pm

human909 wrote:Bikeshare belongs in the highly trafficked parts of the city. It can replace walking and PT as transport choices. I find it odd that the same people who argue that helmets are not a major impediment are also arguing that PT is a competitor. PT wins out easily as you don't need to carry a helmet to ride a tram.

i for one think helmets are an impediment to the scheme. i'm just not going to pretend they're not necessary, just to remove that impediment.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby high_tea » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:20 pm

il padrone wrote:
high_tea wrote:[Where else has bikeshare + MHLs been tried? There's Brisbane, but it only started this month...

And it faces a similar fate, with other local facors that will make it even harder (hilly CBD and inner suburbs, hot and humid conditions for a long part of the year, aggressive drivers by all accounts).


Yeah, I'd like it to work, but I'm not not particularly confident. My number-one local factor would be "cycling infrastructure aimed at recreation rather than commuting", but the things you mention don't fill me with confidence either. They are, however, problems that can be fixed, or at least reduced. When I'm feeling optimistic, I think the Brisbane bikeshare can help create pressure to do that.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby DavidS » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:40 pm

I think the helmet laws are an impediment, but there are solutions. I know of one place where the workplace has an account with the bikeshare scheme and there is a communal helmet. I know people may not want to share a helmet but it probably isn't all that bad. With a bit of imagination I reckon it can work. The biggest problem now with the helmet business is that if they removed the law or exampted the bikeshare scheme someone would try and sue them. I know this is ridiculous (if you are an adult and choose to ride without a helmet how you can sue anyone but the person in the mirror is beyond me, if you're a child your parents are responsible) but it is a certainty.

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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:52 pm

DavidS wrote:The biggest problem now with the helmet business is that if they removed the law or exampted the bikeshare scheme someone would try and sue them. I know this is ridiculous (if you are an adult and choose to ride without a helmet how you can sue anyone but the person in the mirror is beyond me, if you're a child your parents are responsible) but it is a certainty.

Try to sue who? I really doubt it would be possible to sue the government for not forcing you to wear a helmet, and as for suing the provider (RACV), the only difference between having mandatory helmet laws and not having them is that in the latter case, people would actually use the hire bikes. So it may increase the chances of an injury occurring purely by virtue of the fact that more people would be using the bikes, but I doubt the changing of that law by the government could possibly constitute negligence on the part of RACV.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby il padrone » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:57 pm

DavidS wrote:The biggest problem now with the helmet business is that if they removed the law or exampted the bikeshare scheme someone would try and sue them.

Sorry but that is truly bizarre. It's your decision about whether to wear the helmet or not. You can't go blaming someone else because you made such a decision. I'd be amazed if any judge gave this sort of case the time of day.

If the government outlawed helmets and injuries resulted, well yes, that'd be actionable. But no-one is proposing that.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby Aushiker » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:49 pm

Hi

I guess the Rottnest Bike Hire mob or the mob that operates down on the Swan River here in Perth must have it SO WRONG. Both private operators, both still in business so one would assume making money and yep you have to ride with a helmet. :roll:

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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby jules21 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:24 am

il padrone wrote:
DavidS wrote:The biggest problem now with the helmet business is that if they removed the law or exampted the bikeshare scheme someone would try and sue them.

Sorry but that is truly bizarre. It's your decision about whether to wear the helmet or not. You can't go blaming someone else because you made such a decision. I'd be amazed if any judge gave this sort of case the time of day.

If the government outlawed helmets and injuries resulted, well yes, that'd be actionable. But no-one is proposing that.

that may be true, but what would be required is for the govt to justify why all cyclists, or only those hiring from the bikeshare scheme did not have to wear helmets. in the former case, that debate has been done to death so let's not go there - it's obviously possible as other countries don't have mandatory helmet wearing laws, but as it happens we do here, obviously. in the latter - i'd suggest that they'd really struggle to justify such a law.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby il padrone » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:38 am

Aushiker wrote:I guess the Rottnest Bike Hire mob or the mob that operates down on the Swan River here in Perth must have it SO WRONG. Both private operators, both still in business so one would assume making money and yep you have to ride with a helmet.

Different scenario. We have those in Melbourne too. They've been running for many years happily, but the bikeshare is struggling.

These types of riverside hire operations rely on longer term hires (several hours, or days in the case of Rotto) where the bicycle is used for recreational purposes. Very much a planned activity where personal appearance and convenience are low priority. Helmets are readily available and yes, accepted as part of it.

Not the same as inner city bikeshare - aimed at occasional transport use. Carting a helmet about all day for one or two 20 minute bike rides is kinda dumb. Most people don't want to do it and don't plan to do it. Heck, even for me it's a deal-breaker. Last week I was in the CBD for work. The bikeshare would have been a handy thing to use. I rode my bike to the station, locked it up and caught a train. In the CBD I could have taken a bike but I was travelling about with just one bag, nowhere to leave gear, and didn't want the extra hassle of the helmet swinging about (getting knocked and damaged). My helmet stayed locked with the bike at the station, and I did not use the bikeshare bikes :(

If a committed helmet-wearing cyclist finds the scheme is made impractical by the helmet requirement, how do you think the occasional cyclist will respond ?
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby human909 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:55 am

Aushiker wrote:Hi

I guess the Rottnest Bike Hire mob or the mob that operates down on the Swan River here in Perth must have it SO WRONG. Both private operators, both still in business so one would assume making money and yep you have to ride with a helmet. :roll:

Andrew


That is a terrible argument Andrew, a long way from your regular good posts.

You either are being totally ingenuous and deliberately ignoring the differences. Or you are one of the many people on this forum who still don't 'get' the bikeshare and its place in the transport landscape. Bikeshare is NOT about hiring a bike any more that riding a tram is about hiring a tram. The purpose of bike share to travel from bike rank to bike rank. It is meant to be suited towards short distance travel where one would otherwise walk or catch PT for a couple of stops. It simply just is not comparable to bike hire places, especially ones with a very captive market like Rottnest.

jules21 wrote:that may be true, but what would be required is for the govt to justify why all cyclists, or only those hiring from the bikeshare scheme did not have to wear helmets. in the former case, that debate has been done to death so let's not go there - it's obviously possible as other countries don't have mandatory helmet wearing laws, but as it happens we do here, obviously. in the latter - i'd suggest that they'd really struggle to justify such a law.

There is some merit to this argument, however NSW coped fine introducing the exemption for pedicabs. Furthermore it still remains the choice of bikeshare users. Drop the law for bikeshare and add an extra recommendation from the gov to use a helmet. If somebody wins a court case arguing I'm paralysed because the government didn't force me to look after myself it would be absurd. It will have far broader implications than bikes. It won't happen.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby Westgarth » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:25 pm

Back in the news:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/2m-ne ... 19puh.html

$2m needed to keep lid on bike scheme
Clay Lucas
January 14, 2011

MELBOURNE'S bicycle share scheme needs an injection of $2 million if a cheap-helmet initiative set up by the previous state government is to continue.

The $5 million Melbourne Bike Share scheme was launched in June but was hampered by Victoria's compulsory helmet laws.

In the first months, few riders used the 500 blue bikes placed at stands across the city.
Advertisement: Story continues below

To encourage more riders, the former government in October put subsidised $5 helmets on sale at 7-11 stores and at vending machines in a three-month trial.

Each helmet sold ultimately costs taxpayers $13. So far 5700 helmets have been sold.

Now, new transport minister Terry Mulder must decide if the government should continue to subsidise the helmets.

In a briefing note written to Mr Mulder by a senior VicRoads officer two weeks ago, the minister has been told that more people are riding the bikes since the $5 helmets went on sale.

But if the cheap helmets are to remain on sale, the government is facing a $2 million bill between 2011 and 2013.

A spokesman for Mr Mulder last night said the minister had asked for further detail from VicRoads about the costs of the helmets and implementation of the bike scheme.

In June, when the scheme went live, just 1141 trips were taken. In October, the first month the cheap helmets were available, 8729 cycles were hired. Last month that increased to 9650.

At the 7-11 store in Federation Square, which sells the helmets, worker Peter Sutton yesterday said user numbers had risen since the helmets went on sale.

He said helmet sales had boomed over Christmas.

Melbourne and Brisbane are the only cities in the world to have introduced shared bike schemes where compulsory helmet laws apply. The penalty for cycling without a helmet in Victoria is $146.

The bike share scheme allows users who pay a $50 yearly fee (or $2.50 a day) to use the bikes (for up to half an hour with no charge) and deposit them at any one of the 50 racks around the CBD.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby il padrone » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:41 pm

The answer is so very simple - like the nose in the middle of their faces.

Should they ignore it, this scheme will have a max lifespan of 2 years, when continuing costs will make it's further operation politically impossible :(
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby brokenbus » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:21 am

Still dont get these bike schemes. I thought most cyclists would ride their own bike and they would only be useful to tourists but if its anything like the London bike share which I tried to use in September, you cant use it unless you have a permanent UK address and few other requirments.
Would the money be better spent providing quality cycleways?
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:32 am

brokenbus

Your name fits in with the theme of this thread perfectly :lol: :lol:

I believe the Paris Velibs have been instrumental in getting lots of former non-cyclists out on bikes. And many later buy their own bikes too, but still use the Velbs where it is convenient.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby Aushiker » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:58 am

Hi

Treadly and Me has documented his experience using the Melbourne City Bike Share. Seems to me a balanced commentary on the experience.

For all of these reasons and more, I truly hope the bike share is a long-running success story. My concern is that our mandatory helmet laws will end up scuttling the bike share scheme. How sustainable is it for the scheme to subsidise helmets sold in nearby shops? And to what extent does the need to find, buy or bring a helmet discourage people from the spontaneous freedom of just taking a bike and going? (I have overheard people standing at the racks say, “You need a helmet? Well, let’s not bother.”)

And while I don’t believe bike share primarily benefits regular cyclists, it is we who will bear the brunt if it does go down the gurgler. For years afterwards, it would be used by the opponents of cycling to beat up on cycling lobbyists and cyclists in general, because all that public money got wasted on a ‘cycling white elephant’—even though regular urban cyclists didn’t ask for it or need it.

So, let’s hear it for bike share. As someone might have said, may it live long and proper.


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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby human909 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:16 am

I too think the Bike Share deserves all the support of regular cyclists. Unfortunately it will not get my patronage or support until we fix the helmet issue. :?
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby rolandp » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:04 am

I picked up my $5 souvenir helmet when in Melborne last week. If you see me riding around Perth in it, say hello.

I must also write up my experience using the scheme, including the 72 pages of usage conditions:
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby m@ » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:36 am

I was in Melbourne for the weekend a few months ago and was keen to try out the share bikes. Seems to me that at present it's a solution looking for a problem - the CBD is so easy to get around on foot or by tram that it's hardly worth organising a helmet, walking to the nearest docking station then dealing with the traffic and one-way streets.

OTOH we wanted to go a bit further afield, but couldn't use the share bikes because there are no docks outside the CBD - seems to me that this is what they would be better suited for, travelling into the CBD and back from within 5 - 10Km or so.

On the plus side, I downloaded the iPhone Spotcyle app which is pretty cool - shows station locations including number of bikes and docks as well as on and off road cycle lanes and paths; just needs better location search and route mapping functions. I did find the numbers inaccurate at times but probably a case of GIGO.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby jules21 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:05 am

+ 1

that's exactly the problem - you don't need a bike in the CBD, tourists need one to use the CBD as a hub to visit attractions such as st kilda. which the bikeshare doesn't properly support (although it's possible). they should have spread the stations around more.
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Re: Melbourne city bike share

Postby Westgarth » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:45 pm

I was in Melbourne for the weekend a few months ago and was keen to try out the share bikes. Seems to me that at present it's a solution looking for a problem - the CBD is so easy to get around on foot or by tram that it's hardly worth organising a helmet, walking to the nearest docking station then dealing with the traffic and one-way streets.


This is a good point. The current scheme seems mostly suited to tourists who want to take some happy snaps to show their friends when they get back to Luxembourg or Ulan Bator or wherever. The scheme isn't designed for helping poor people who can't afford a bike to have something to do all day, or outer-suburbs drink drivers who don't like trains and buses to get to work, or fat people to get fit on impulse.

The helmet issue is obviously the main impediment to the scheme being widely used. But the fact that scheme is largely being used by people (tourists/visitors) who are outside the various local cycling interest groups and their targets is a factor too.
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