Bicycle Network: Better Transport
3 All Public bike schemes
Public bike schemes are catching on around the world.
Expansion on cards for Bike Share
3 April 2013. The State Government is looking into expanding Melbourne Bike Share into more of Melbourne's inner suburbs.
Roads and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder last week announced that a feasibility study would start soon to examine where the scheme could be expanded to, especially to the north of the CBD.
The City of Yarra recently wrote to the Minister inviting the government to expand the scheme into the municipality. Some major educational institutions are understood to also favour an expansion of the scheme.
"VicRoads will use information gathered from the new initiatives, as well as community feedback, in preparing a detailed feasibility study for Melbourne Bike Share," Mr Mulder said.
Melbourne Bike Share scheme currently consists of 51 bike stations and 600 bikes, operating in the cities of Melbourne and parts of Port Phillip.
Melbourne Bike Share will soon include advertising on the bikes and helmets to generate revenue and reduce the costs associated with the scheme.
Sponsorship arrangements have been agreed upon and potential advertisers are currently being reviewed by the RACV and VicRoads.
"While the revenue stream is likely to be small, it will reduce the costs to the taxpayer, which is a positive move," Mr Mulder said.
The government also announced a trial of free helmets to ascertain of helmet availability was deterring spontaneous use of the scheme.
Research internationally has shown that spontaneous usage is small in big-city bike share schemes, where nearly all trips are planned. but Mr Mulder said free helmets have been successfully trialled in Brisbane through its CityCycle scheme and that those bikes carrying free helmets were being used three times more than bikes without helmets.
"If the trial proves to be successful, we will certainly consider implementing this as a permanent measure, just as they have done in Brisbane," the Minister said, adding that while he expected helmets to go missing, the Brisbane trial indicated that this issue decreased over time.
Mr Mulder said that while usage of the Bike Share program increased by 30 per cent last year after "languishing" in its first year of operation in 2010, the government believed it was worth trying some new measures to reduce the cost to the taxpayer and to make the scheme more appealing.
"One of the main barriers to using Melbourne Bike Share is around spontaneity, so by providing free helmets on the bikes, we hope to encourage more trips by creating a one-stop-shop," Mr Mulder said.
Approximately 200 free helmets, which are expected to be shared but will be regularly cleaned, will be circulated throughout the system, daily, to ensure that helmets are available at most bike stations. The trial will take place over the next three months.
Mr Mulder said there would also be cost savings if adopted long-term by reducing the reselling and outlet distribution fees associated with the current helmet arrangements, as well as reducing the number of helmets being purchased each year.
Melbourne Bike Share survey
9 August 2012. Melbourne Bike Share is seeking feedback from riders on how to make the system, launched in 31 May 2010, more efficient and accessible.
Melbourne Bike Share says it aims to provide the community with a sustainable, simple and healthy transport option to complement existing public transport services.
"After two year of operation, a lot has changed. We have more bikes, more stations and more members. Now we are giving Melburnians an opportunity to have their say on how Melbourne Bike Share is working so that we can continue to improve this service.
"To have your say, click the link below and complete the short survey on our website. Completing this survey will only take around five minutes.
Melbourne Bike Share online survey is here.
Blue bikes boom in summer
9 February 2012. Melbourne's BikeShare ran hot in January reaching a new record in ridership as holidaymakers explored the city by bike.
More than 16,000 bikes were rented during the month, which is 50 per cent up on the number for January last year.
The Australian Open tennis was a major attraction, with many fans opting to cruise down the Yarra on the bike track to get to and from the game.
Federation Square was the most popular location to start a journey.
Other popular stations with casual users include Sandridge Bridge at South Bank, and the Beach Street and the Kerferd Road/Beaconsfield Parade stations, suggesting that a visit to Melbourne's beaches is fun on a blue bike.
Total usage of the system continues to rise steadily, indicating that the system will reach its target ridership and become a permanent part of Melbourne's transport system.
Annual subscriptions have reached 1400, although subscriber rider growth is flat compared with use by casual users.
The most popular stations for subscribers are those in the west of the city—in Docklands, at Southern Cross Station, and on Southbank at Sandridge Bridge.
People are healthier when they share
16 September 2011. Bike hire schemes – like those operating in Melbourne and Brisbane – are saving lives as well as busting congestion, according to new research.
Researchers studying Barcelona’s bike hire scheme have suggested averted carbon emissions are saving as many as 12 lives every year.
Study results found that users of the Barcelona scheme - known as Bicing – had helped to avert 9000 tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution, which they believe had saved more than 12 lives each year the scheme operated.
The research team found that for those using the Bicing scheme there was an estimated 0.03 extra cyclists' deaths each year from traffic accidents and an extra 0.13 cyclists' deaths from air pollution compared with an overall saving of 12.48 lives through the benefits of physical activity. This study did not provide a calculation for the lives of non-cyclists saved but it is reasonable to assume that everybody benefitted from the improved air quality.
More 350 cities around the world – including Melbourne and Brisbane – operate bike share schemes. The Spanish researchers said they conducted the study because they wanted to understand if the schemes generated public health benefits in addition to reducing congestion.
London has also been looking at the effect its bike hire scheme has on air pollution and public health. A study commissioned by Mayor Boris Johnson found that London’s poor air quality caused 4300 deaths each year, part of an estimated 50,000 UK deaths attributed to air pollution each year. A Parliamentary environment audit committee found sooty particles, largely from the burning of diesel and other fuels and inhaled deeply into the lungs, shortened lives by seven to eight months rising to as much as nine years in heavily polluted areas like central London.
Brompton share the folding stuff
24 August 2011. Folding bike company Brompton is trialling a bike hire scheme where the iconic folder can be hired at railway stations.
For a small annual fee a member obtains a smartcard and then uses the bike fir a fee based on time.
The heart of the system is the Brompton dock, a storage system that holds up to 40 Brompton folding bikes.
Brompton believes the scheme has an advantage over traditional bike share schemes in that the folded bikes can be taken on public transport, and can be ridden right to the user’s destination.
There they are folded and carried inside, avoiding any security risk.
And there is always a bike available for the return journey.
In the Brompton scheme the user charges are automatically calculated when the bike is returned, and the user is billed at the end of each month.
Membership access to Brompton Dock trial is £50 and one hire charge would be £1.60 per day
Station shuffle for BikeShare
14 July 2011. Melbourne's BikeShare stations have been re-shuffled to improve routes and better meet the needs of riders.
The new station outside the ANZ complex at the bottom of Collins Street in Docklands is already a hit and is now one of the busiest in the city.
Another new station has been installed near Richmond station on Brunton avenue. Previously one the of Queen Victoria market stations, the new station will suit travellers who want to directly reach city locations without the journey through the Loop.
The station at Swanston Street opposite the St Pauls Cathedral has been moved and is now located at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre at Albert Park, and has rapidly become a popular destination. It is also a great for a trip around the lake at any time.
The station at the State Library has also moved, across Little Lonsdale Street.
Some other stations have been expanded to make it easier to dock bikes:
- State library has 4 extra docks
- Bourke Street + Ramsey lane has 4 extra docks
- Siddeley Street has 4 extra docks
- Sandridge Bridge has 4 extra docks
- Rod Laver Arena has 4 extra docks
- Queen Victoria Market has 12 extra docks
- Eye and Ear hospital has 4 extra docks
Osama spikes bike share
5 May 2011. The American capital, Washington, experienced a dramatic late-night spike in the use of its public bikes this week as citizens scrambled to get to the spontaneous rally to celebrate Osama bin Laden's demise.
Washington's share bikesâ€” the same system as in Melbourneâ€”are usually tucked up in bed by the early hours of the morning.
But President Obama's late night announcement of the successful raid on bin Laden's lair sent the populace flooding onto the streets, headed to the White House.
But how do you get there in a hurray in the middle of the night? Capital Bikeshare to the rescue.
The charts below show the usage pattern on the night of the rally (left), and that of a typical day (right).
Clearly, the celebrations went long into the night.
London bikes face cash crunch
19 April 2011. London's bike share scheme has proved a big hit with riders, but a big revenue shortfall has the City's accountants worried.
A review has found that by late last year 95 per cent of trips taken lasted less than 30 minutes, thus generating no revenue for the operator.
Of the first 1.4 million journeys only about 73,000 contributed revenue to Transport for London (TfL), totalling about A$500,000.
Forty-four per cent of that amount came from just 940 individuals who were made to pay the late return fee of $230.
The Greater London Authority review of the so called "Boris Bikes" shows that the scheme could struggle to generate the revenue to required to keep it afloat.
TfL originally predicted that the scheme would break even within three years with £110 million in revenue from journey and membership fees.
Now it says it will be self financing after two to three years and will start repaying its establishment costs after that.
The scheme costs A$30M a year to operate after costing A$123M to set up.
But late last year it was only generating the equivalent of A$2M a year. Since then casual users have been admitted to the scheme and are expected to boost the finances.
The review has also revealed that the Barclays’ Bank sponsorship of the scheme, amounting to £25 million over five years, only accounts for 18 per cent of the scheme’s total cost.
Furthermore the sponsorship is subject to performance targets that it is believed the scheme has not been able to meet because of substantial delays in the roll-out.
Tehran goes half-way on bike share
24 January 2010. The capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran is rolling out a bike system to get more people on bike transport, but half of the population is banned from using it.
The system, managed by the Tehran city government, is for men only.
Like all big modern cities, Tehran is choking with traffic congestion, and authorities are desperate for green mobility options
The “Bike House” scheme has started modestly, with about 500 bikes so far distributed with about 40 at each bike station.
Users can rent a bike for up to four hours. More than 6000 have signed up for an annual subscription priced not much more than $2.00.
Dublin plans big bikeshare growth
13 January 2011. Dublin City want to expand the small but successful public bike scheme in the Irish capital from from 500 to 5,000 bikes over the next five years.
The number of bike stations will be increased from 40 to nearly 300 and more suburbs will be included in the coverage.
Dublinbikes is one of the more popular systems in Europe, with bikes being used about ten times a day.
The system has signed up more than 47,000 subscribers since it launched in late 2009, more than 100 subscribers per bike.
Recent research has produced the surprising result that nearly twice as many users of the scheme have switched from riding their own bikes as from driving cars.
It has been speculated that people are leaving their bikes at home and taking the Dublin bikes because of the fear of bike theft and vandalism to private bikes.
According to her survey, almost 70 per cent of new cyclists use dublinbikes to make daily trips to work and college, while the balance are using the scheme for social purposes, leisure and entertainment, as well as to shop and gain access to services.
Of the 37 per cent of users who are making new or different journeys, almost half of these trips are generated by the bikes being available to users. This would indicate that the scheme has increased “door-to-door” mobility.
The Dublin scheme is operated by JC Decaux, which operate schemes in Brisbane and Paris.
Boris bikes boosted
9 December 2010. The London bike share scheme is to be expanded for the 2012 Olympic Games, bringing the total number of bikes on the streets to 8000.
The London scheme is based on the same system as Melbourne's bike share operations, which will have 600 bikes when fully deployed.
The expanded London scheme will cover an additional 20 square km, mainly in London's east, and will have 2,700 docking stations.
Among the districts getting the system are Tower Hamlets, North Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar.
The scheme, sponsored by Barclays Bank to the tune of $43M, is also adding an additional 1500 docking stations in central London.
The expanded scheme will cover 65 square kilometres of London and have a total of 14,400 docking stations. The scheme has been used for 1.5 million journeys since it launched in mid-year.
Mayor Boris Johnson said Londoners had taken to the hire of two wheels with alacrity.
"Plans are now well advanced that will see the roll-out of thousands more of our gleaming bikes across the capital’s legendary East End, he said.
"For as little as 12p a day, users will soon be able to use our bikes to cross a huge swathe of our city, and it'll mean that by 2012 we’ll be able to invite the entire world to join London’s cycling revolution."
The managing director of surface transport at Transport for London, David Brown, said it was always expected that the scheme would be popular, but had exceeded expectations.
NYC to wheel out bike share
24 November 2010. New York City's Department of Transport has (DOT) has called for proposals for a bike share system for the metropolis, requiring a system with similarities to the RACV bike share in Melbourne.
The system could be started by spring 2012, using the latest in bike share technology to provide secure and convenient bicycles on a 24-hour basis, and at publicly accessible prices.
The system has to be economically self-sustaining, with the city calling for a private company to bear all the cost and responsibilities for the system during an initial five-year period, while sharing revenues with the city, and with no taxpayer funds being used for the system’s implementation, upkeep or maintenance.
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the project looked to encourage bikes as an environmentally friendly and congestion-reducing transportation option.
“Biking has become a serious transportation option in New York and bike share is the clear next step,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “New York’s ideal geography, high residential and commercial density and growing bike infrastructure make it the perfect option for short trips since over 50% of trips in NYC are under two miles.
A bike sharing program would provide New Yorkers with another transportation option while reducing traffic.
While the RFP does not specify the number of bicycles or the precise geographic area to be covered by a bike share system, preliminary City research indicates that a financially self- sustaining program could include Manhattan south of 60th Street, and surrounding neighbourhoods.
NY has previously estimated a city-wide bike share system to require some 49,000 bikes.
DOT is particularly interested in systems that span more than one borough and that make the best use of the city’s growing bicycle network.
The City's statement on the proposal said that from their debut in Paris, Toulouse and Barcelona, bike share systems have grown in popularity, security and sophistication.
New bike share systems, such as those pioneered in Denver and Montreal, had increasingly lower costs, and this RFP calls for a system that uses the latest technologies to prevent theft, which has been virtually non-existent in the newest bike share systems in Melbourne, London and Washington DC.
The RFP calls for a system that includes bike share stations that would be located every few blocks, allowing for easy pick-up and drop-off.
The system will allow members of the public to purchase memberships, which would entitle them to an unlimited number of 30 minute trips each day at no additional cost.
Trips longer than 30 minutes would likely be assessed a small charge, as bike share is meant to serve short trips.
DOT anticipates that the system would start with tests occurring beforehand to assess all of its elements for durability and support.
The bike share system would serve as a new public transportation system complete with durable bicycles and docking stations to provide convenient and inexpensive mobility twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
Bike share is envisioned to be used primarily for trips under three miles.
$5 helmet vending trial
13 October 2010. The State Government has launched a trial of helmet vending machines to support the roll-out of the Melbourne Bike Share scheme.
Helmets can be obtained for five dollars, and when returned to a 7-Eleven store, the user can get three dollars back.
The 7-Eleven stores will also stock the helmet at stores across the city.
The helmets meet the Australian Standard for safety.
Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas said that while there has been a steady uptake of Australia’s first public bike hire scheme, there had been feedback from the community asking for greater availability of helmets.
“We have always said we would consider a range of helmet solutions for Melbourne Bike Share and we expect this trial will go some way to help make the scheme more accessible.”
Mr Pallas said two vending machines would be trialled at two of the most popular bike stations at Southern Cross Station and Melbourne University for three months.
“We will use feedback from this trial to determine the best permanent solution to providing more helmets for people using Melbourne Bike Share.
“The Brumby Labor Government is building a better transport system and we understand how important cycling is as a viable, sustainable and accessible travel option.
“We are committed to reducing people’s dependence on cars and promoting cycling as a legitimate transport choice,” Mr Pallas said.
Helmets are also available as part of corporate memberships and annual subscriptions, as well as at selected local CBD retail outlets located near the bike stations.
The $5 million Melbourne Bike Share scheme was officially launched at the end of May this year and continues to grow in popularity.
“The number of people riding these bikes is going up 30 per cent every month and we expect that with the warmer weather and the new helmet availability, these numbers will go up even further.
As of Monday morning 11 October, Melbourne Bike Share has been used for more than 20,700 trips and has almost 650 subscribers.
US capital shares Melbourne bikes
29 September 2010. The US capital, Washington, has launched a bike share operation virtually identical to Melbourne's own blue, BikeShare system.
Some of the team who set up the Melbourne system travelled to the US to help with the roll out of the first 50 stations and 400 bikes in DC and neighbouring Arlington County.
Known as Capital BikeShare, the system uses the same technology, bike stations and bikes as Melbourne. Except their bikes are red.
The network that will soon feature 1,100 bikes accessible from 114 stations making it the largest in the United States. If the system receives a federal government grant later this year fall, it could expand to more than 3,500 bikes.
Memberships cost $75 a year, and bikes can also be taken out by the day for a $5 daily membership fee paid by credit card. After that, the first 30 minutes are free. The next 30 minutes cost $1.50, followed by $4.50 for the next 30 minutes and $6 for every subsequent hour.
Washington already had a public bike scheme, but after limited success it is being phased out and replaced with the new $6M system. As well as Melbourne the system, known as Bixi, is operating in Montreal, London and Minneapolis.
The system had 1000 members signed up from day one. The first 2,000 Capital Bikeshare members become 'founding members' and receive a free t-shirt and commemorative key-fob.
Melbourne BikeShare out there
15 October 2010. The roll-out of Melbourne's blue BikeShare system is accelerating, with about 450 bikes now on the streets.
Launched in mid-winter, the scheme has been gradually expanded as the various solar power and wireless communications, rental and stock re-balancing systems have been tested and adjusted.
The system operator, RACV, hopes to have all 600 bikes on the road for the peak summer season.
Establishing the stations on appropriate sites has not proved straightforward. Although the stations are easily re-locatable, many of the sites with the highest demand were not viable due to other factors such as pre-existing street furniture.
In other cities bike sharing stations are frequently located on roads in converted car parking spaces, but in Melbourne this was considered a safety risk.
However more locations have been identified, including some in the City of Port Phillip.
RACV is gearing up its marketing campaign in anticipation of warmer weather ahead. It will be working with Bicycle Network Victoria on a special campaign to recruit corporate members and get employees riding the bikes to get around the city.
Banks pays $43 million to sponsor bike share
22 June 2010. Banking giant Barclays will pay more than $43 million over five years for the naming rights to London's new bike share and bike lane schemes.
London's new hire bikes are similar to the recently launched Melbourne scheme, based on the Montreal scheme. Its new lane system, promoted as 'Cycle Superhighways' will be rolled out soon, although early plans have been met with scepticism.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said the hire and lane schemes would mark 2010 as the year that created a cycling revolution in London.
The $43m sponsorship deal will give Barclays naming rights for the two flagship cycling schemes and branding on the hire scheme's new bicycles, maintenance support vehicles and on the uniforms of maintenance staff, as well as on all marketing and communications materials.
The bank commented that the projects would take their brand around London, in an eye-catching and innovative way.
Once complete, Barclays Cycle Hire will provide 6,000 bicycles, which will be available from around 400 docking stations across the Zone 1 travel area.
Barclays Cycle Hire is expected to generate up to 40,000 extra cycle trips a day in central London.
Cycle Superhighways are a set of 12 radial routes that will deliver benefits to cyclists by making it safer and easier to commute by bike between outer and inner London on direct and continuous cycle routes.
Melbourne bike share opens
31 May 2010. The first 100 bikes of the Melbourne BikeShare initiative have hit the streets of inner Melbourne.
The first ten stations were switched on along the CBD's north-south axis.
The remaining 50 bike stations and 600 bikes will be rolled out to other locations in the next few weeks.
The first ten station locations are at: Melbourne Arts Centre Precinct, Hamer Hall, Southgate; Federation Square; corner Flinders Street and Swanston Street; City Square, Swanston Street; Bourke Street Mall, 205 Bourke Street; Bourke Street Mall – GPO, Elizabeth Street; The State Library of Victoria; RMIT University, Franklin Street; Melbourne University, Swanston Street; and Melbourne University, Tin Alley.
Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas said the Government was building a better transport system and understand how important cycling was as a viable, sustainable and accessible travel option.
"People can sign-up for yearly subscriptions on-line or simply purchase a daily or weekly subscription from kiosks located at the bike stations, Mr Pallas said.
People can subscribe to the system for as little as $50 a year, with a daily subscription costing just $2.50.
For more information about Melbourne Bike Share or to purchase a yearly subscription visit www.melbournebikeshare.com.au
See a video of the new stations here. Visit the official bike share website by clicking here.
Brisbane bites car parking bullet
14 April 2010. After struggling to find locations for its bike share stations Brisbane has bitten the bullet and will remove almost 200 on-street car spaces to make room for its CityCycle roll out.
The move contrasts with Melbourne where only a handful of parking spaces will be removed for bike stations for the local scheme, as Melbourne City is reluctant to forego parking metre revenue.
Brisbane needs to install a total of 150 stations to store its 2000 share bikes.
The scheme, operated by outdoor advertising firm JC Deceaux, plans to be operating by the end of the year with the first 90 bike stations.
Brisbane will remove 40 car parking spaces from the CBD and 156 spaces in the inner suburbs to enable 50 bike stations to go on the street.
In the first stage, Brisbane's CBD would have 45 bike racks, 19 would be installed in Fortitude Valley, 15 in New Farm, eight in Newstead, four in Milton, Kangaroo Point and South Brisbane, seven in West End and two in St Lucia.
Removing car parking for bike parking results in more visitation to a locality, thus improving custom for local businesses.
31 March 2010. Melbourne's BikeShare bikes have completed manufacture in Montreal and are on a ship bound for Melbourne.
They will be on the streets in late May.
The 600 bikes are being supplied by Canadian bike manufacturer, Devinci. The company is renowned in Canada for its wide range of bikes, as well as the Bixi public bike design.
The bikes will undergo final assembly in Melbourne by Bicycle Superstore, which has won the tender for assembly and maintenance of the Melbourne blue bikes.
Ten bikes are being air-freighted out in advanced of the shipped bikes to enable training and familiarisation for the local team.
RACV has appointed its BikeShare Cordinator, Michelle George, and its partner, Alta Bike Share, has appointed its Melbourne Operations Manager, Peter Hoban, previously with Flexicar.
The Melbourne BikeShare team is now busy planning the locations of the 50 bike stations that will be positioned around the city.
Melbourne's share bikes revealed
17 March 2010. The bike to be used in Melbourne's shared bike scheme has been revealed publicly for the first time. They will be on the streets at the end of May.
The scheme, operated jointly by RACV and Alta Bicycle Share, will be known as Melbourne Bike Share.
The bikes are blue with strong Melbourne branding. RACV and Victorian Government logos are present, but not conspicuous.
Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas said today the first 100 bikes and the first ten bike stations would be launched on May 31 this year.
“The early set-up means people have a great opportunity to try the system along one corridor before the system expands to 600 bikes across inner Melbourne,” Mr Pallas said.
"The first ten stations will be set up along a key cycling corridor in Melbourne from the Arts Centre Precinct and Federation Square on St Kilda Road, through to Melbourne University in Parkville.
“Locations for the early set-up of the system include popular sites such as Federation Square, City Square, Bourke Street Mall, RMIT University and Melbourne University."
Mr Pallas said the Government understood how important cycling is as a "viable, sustainable and accessible travel option".
Under the new scheme people in Melbourne will be able to use the system for $50 for a yearly subscription, with the daily subscription costing $2.50.
Regular users of the system will be encouraged to use their own helmets and the operators are exploring a range of options for making helmets available to users, including for sale and/or hire from a range of locations within the CBD to ensure convenience.
The first ten Melbourne Bike Share station locations will be at: the Melbourne Arts Centre Precinct; Federation Square; corner Flinders Street and Swanston Street (outside McDonalds); the City Square, Swanston Street; Bourke Street Mall, Swanston Street; the State Library of Victoria; RMIT University, Franklin Street; Lincoln Square, Swanston Street; Melbourne University, Swanston Street and Melbourne University, Tin Alley.
To subscribe for regular updates or for more information on how the new public bike scheme works visit www.melbournebikeshare.com.au
The new bikes are featured in the next issue of Ride On magazine, available 1 April.
BIXI bikes boldly breeding
17 February 2010. The public bike scheme chosen by Melbourneâ€”BIXIâ€”continues to expand following its choice by Minnesota in the US.
The Montreal-designed BIXI system has also been chosen by Boston and London. The Melbourne version will hit the streets in mid-year.
The first phase of the Minnesota operation, to be known as Nice Bike, will have a 1,000 bikes at 80 kiosks and will be launched in June.
The bikes will be located in the CBD, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus and surrounding commercial districts.
The system will operate on a non-profit basis, with income supplemented by sponsorship and by funds obtained from the historic settlement with tobacco companies.
The livery of the Melbourne bikes has not yet been revealed.
Melbourne public bikes seeks boss
14 January 2010. The operators of Melbourne's forthcoming public bike scheme are seeking a planning and management whiz to head up the new venture.
Alta Bike Share, which is RACV's partner in the scheme, has advertised for a manager of the day-to-day operations of the scheme. The position will also double up as Alta's launching pad for the expansion of its town planning business into Australia and Asia.
The company is based in the USA, where it is a leader in bike and pedestrian planning. Now, with a foothold in Australia via the Melbourne public bike scheme, it is establishing a Melbourne office to both run the bike share operation and expand its consulting business.
This is the advertisement for the position:
Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning, Design, Operations Manager
Alta Bicycle Share is seeking to hire a full time professional for a new Melbourne office.
- Day-to-day management of a large-scale bicycle rental operations;
- Planning and design consultancy services for bicycle, pedestrian, and trail projects in Australia, Asia, and Oceania.
The successful candidate should meet this criterion:
Have at least 3 years of consultancy and/or organization management experience
Be able to oversee staff, bicycle rental operations, perform administrative functions, be willing to perform some services in-field, be in good physical condition
Have strong verbal, writing and analytical skills.
Have a working knowledgeable of computers and basic software
Have some knowledge of and/or experience in the following fields: transportation, bicycle, pedestrian, and trail design, transportation operations
Advanced degree in planning, engineering, landscape architecture, or related fields is preferred.
Please send resumes and other materials to:
Michael Jones (mgjones[at]altaplanning.com)
RACV tenders for helmets for public bikes
13 January 2010. RACV wants more than 1000 helmets for the launch of the Melbourne public bike scheme in the middle of next year, which will be one of the first such schemes with compulsory helmets.
The tender documentation also reveals that the project is examining the use of innovative folding helmets, and vending machines.
The helmets must comply with the Australian standard.
Most of the public bike schemes around the world have thrived in environments where helmet wearing is not compulsory.
One of the major challenges of the Melbourne and Brisbane projects is that it will be the first time public bikes will operate where helmets must be fitted.
Melbourne (and the state of Victoria) was the first jurisdiction in the world where helmets became compulsory, and their use has since become widespread and accepted.
Melbourne bike system takes next step
15 December 2009. RACV is seeking partners to plan, operate and maintain the public bike system coming to Melbourne next year.
The organisation, in conjunction with Alta Bicycle Share, last month won the State Government bid to run the 600 bikes at 50 stations in the city of Melbourne.
Now its moving to set up the systems and facilities needed to keep 600 bikes on the street each day, and available to the public where demand is greatest.
RACV / Alta is seeking a partner to assist with planning elements of the deployment of the bike stations, working with RACV to identify possible sites and develop and submit planning permits.
The group is also seeking a partner to assist with the installation of docking stations, and the 'rebalancing' of the stock of bikes from one station to another.
Finally, RACV / Alta are seeking a partner with expertise in bicycle maintenance to assemble and service the Bixi bikes used by the scheme.
The subcontractor will be trained on the specifics of the Bixi bicycle. All tools and equipment needed are specific for this bicycle and will be provided by RACV / Alta. The bicycles will arrive 85% assembled. Final assembly of one bicycle takes 30-60 minutes.
The bicycle subcontractor will undertake a cycle of scheduled servicing on the bicycles at its workshop, including inspection of chain, tyres and gears as well as adjustments to wheels and brakes.
The subcontractor will repair bicycles as they are brought in by the operations subcontractor. Except for severely damaged bicycles, all other bicycles should be repaired within 24 hours of entry into the shop.
The subcontractor will regularly check bikes out on the street for basic safe operation, such as tyres, brakes, chain, seat, pedals, as well as any vandalism or other flaws in the bicycle.
Those with the capability of providing the planning, maintenance or operations for the public bike scheme should contact RACV.
RACV wins Melbourne’s public bike contract
1 November 2009. Giant car club RACV has been awarded the contract to design and operate Melbourne’s public bike system, which will be on the streets around mid-2010.
RACV won the bid in conjunction with Alta Bicycle Share from the United States and will utilize the Bixi bike share system from Montreal.
This system has recently won tenders for London and Boston.
RACV has more than two million members and its transforming itself from a car organization into a mobility organization. “One hundred years ago we were advocating for the rights of cars; now we are advocating for the rights of bike riders,” RACV’s General Manager for Membership and Motoring Services, Gordon Oakley, said at the announcement.
The losing bidder was Veolia Transport, which operates a number of shared bike systems around the world.
Under the scheme people in Melbourne will be able to use the system for as little as $50 for a yearly subscription, with the daily subscription to cost $2.50.
Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas said users would be required to buy a subscription in order to use the public bikes, with the option of a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly subscription.
“For subscribers the first half hour will be free, with the cost then increasing with usage time,” Mr. Pallas said. “The pricing structure has been developed to encourage short trip use as the system is not intended to compete with existing tourist bike hire operators.”
Bicycle Network Victoria assisted both bidders with information and advice on Melbourne’s riding habits.
Both contenders had detailed and professional proposals. Veolia’s system has been longer in development and has progressed through a number of iterations to be both sophisticated and dependable. The RACV/Alta system is very recent, also sophisticated, and has experienced rapid success in Montreal.
The Victorian Government, which awarded the contract, would have been very aware of the enormous goodwill towards RACV in the community, and of RACV’s massive marketing reach.
Some uncertainty exists about the Melbourne scheme as helmets are compulsory here, whereas they are not in Montreal and other cities with public bikes. Mr. Pallas said he expected regular users of the system would use their own helmets, while RACV and Alta were exploring options for sale and hire.
Bicycle Network Victoria believes that public bikes will make a major difference to Melbourne’s ambience and liveability.
Central Melbourne will be easy to get around, and it will be a more welcoming and human-scale environment with 600 public bikes cruising around each day.
More and more people are choosing bikes to get around, and this will now accelerate with the convenience of readily available public bikes.
The bikes will be conspicuous and will be a highly visible symbol of the changes taking place in personal transportation. The community will realize
that bikes are here and here to stay.
Every extra rider puts a strain on Melbourne’s crowded bike facilities. Fortunately the State Government and the City Council have indicated that they are determined to improve bike infrastructure so that new riders will feel comfortable riding around the City.
Dublin goes green with public bikes
7 October 2009. Dublin has introduced a shared bike scheme with 450 bikes to rent from 40 stations.
They are free for half hour and then 50 cents for the first hour, rising to €6.50 for four hours. The bikes cannot be taken out using cash.
Riders register online for annual membership at a cost of €10 or alternatively can pay with a credit card at 14 of the stations for a three-day €2 ticket.
The bikes are available from 5.30am to 12.30am seven days a week.
JC Decaux provides the bike service as part of an outdoor advertising contract with Dublin City Council. The cost of installation, management and maintenance of the bikes and their stations (including replacing and repairing the bikes) will be covered by JC Decaux.
More than 1,000 bike journeys were made in the first six hours of the scheme.
The scheme's website is here.
Big prize for 'visionary' Copenhagen public bike design
9 September 2009. The City of Copenhagen, eager to boost its reputation for bike transport leadership, has launched a $170,000 open competition for the design of its next generation public bike system.
Copenhagen was one of the first cities to have a shared bike scheme, and the programme is now in its second generation.
Now the Danish capital wants to leap ahead with the design of the most modern system possible to help it meet its ambitious target of getting 50 per cent of all work commuting on a bike by 2015.
Among the criteria are high visibility and user-friendliness, particularly the booking and payment system. The new bike share system must also possess the potential to strengthen sustainable mobility in Copenhagen and at the same time interact with the city’s architectural expression.
They want technical qualities that make the system better than previous generations of bike share systems, with quality riding characteristics.
The deadline for entries is 19 November 2009.
Download the competition details.
RACV vs. Veolia in Melbourne shortlist
23 August 2009. Car club behemoth RACV is a shock player in the battle to win Melbourne's public bike scheme tender.
In the short list announced today by Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas, RACV has teamed up with international town planning firm Alta Planning & Design to bring Montreal's Bixi system to Melbourne.
They are lined up against a bid by Veolia Transport, one of the world biggest public transport companies, operating trains, ferries, buses and trams, as well as public bike schemes.
The Bixi system was introduced in Montreal in May. It has recently won contracts in London and Boston. The system has base stations which are easily portable and can be removed for storage in winter in cities where snow is a problem.
Veolia's Veloway system is also flexible in configuration, with modular docking stations. It is designed for integration with public transport systems. Most recently it was introduced to the French city of Nice.
The Melbourne tender involves a $5 million contract over four years.
Mr. Pallas said RACV and Veolia had produced quality submissions and the government confident of selecting a successful operator within three months.
He said the stations would house up to 600 bikes between them, offering workers, and tourists with a cheap and green way to travel around the city.
“The system aims to encourage more people to ride a bike for short trips helping to relieve pressure on transport systems in the inner-city, as well as offering health and wellbeing benefits,” he said.
Member for Melbourne Bronwyn Pike MP said some 50 bicycle stations will be set up at key locations around inner Melbourne including Parliament House, Federation Square, Southern Cross Station, Melbourne University and the Carlton hospital precinct.”
Operational details of the bike scheme, including pricing and helmet requirements and availability, will be announced once the tender had been awarded.
The Public Bike Hire Scheme is a key part of the Brumby Labor Government’s $115 million Victorian Cycling Strategy. It is expected to be operational in 2010.
London signs A$277M public bikes deal
22 August 2009. Transport for London (TfL) has awarded international services company Serco a six year A$277 million contract to install and operate a new public bike system for the City.
Serco, which was selected following a nine month competitive tender, will be based on, but not identical to, the Bixi bike system from Montreal.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the London Cycle Hire scheme is set to help alleviate congestion on the Tube and buses and increase the number of people cycling in London.
The system will launch mid-2010. Revenue from the scheme will be paid directly to TfL, although no details on the price structure for the London scheme have been revealed
Serco already operates the Dockland's Light Railway, the Woolwich Ferry and maintains traffic signals for TfL.
There will be 6,000 hire bikes spread over London’s 44 sq kilometre zone one travel area, located at 400 docking stations.
TfL expects the scheme will generate more than 40,000 cycle trips daily.
Information on that and on the design of the bicycles, docking stations and terminals, will be released later this year.
As central London is composed of different 'councils', planning permission for the docking stations could be problematical because some councils fear the loss car parking revenue from metered spaces occupied by the stations.
Boston bags Bixi
22 August 2009. The City of Boston has opted for Montreal's recently birthed Bixi system when it introduces its public bike system next northern spring.
Boston will launch with 2,500 bikes at 290 stations in inner Boston, increasing to 5,000 bikes at 475 stations as the system expands through metro Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.
Bixi launched in Montreal in May to great acclaim, although there have been reports of theft and vandalism at the docking stations.
The Bixi bicycle-sharing system was designed so that it could be used in numerous other cities. Base stations are solar-powered and WiFi-enabled, allowing them to be placed anywhere in the city without need for an electrical connection.
This also means they can be easily relocated or warehoused in cities which become snow-bound in winter.
Mexico City to ride SmartBike
21 August 2009. The Mexico City Government has selected the SmartBike system from outdoor advertising giant ClearChannel for its public bike system, scheduled to launch in December.
The city is notorious for traffic congestion and pollution.
The system will roll out with 1,114 bikes at 84 base stations, initially in the south western precincts of central Mexico City. The contract is designed to gradually ramp up to 6,000 bikes at 400 bike stations.
The project is part of a transportation strategy aiming to lift bike use from 1.2 per cent of short trips to five per cent. The City also has a program to significantly improve its bike infrastructure.
The Mexicans are aiming for 24,000 subscribers in year one of operation, principally customers of their Metro, Metrobus, or trolleybus public transport systems who need to complete a trip.
The annual subscription will cost 200 pesos (A$18.50). The first half hour of each hire will be free.
The SmartBike system allows registered riders to swipe a card at a station to unlock the bike. Riders then travel by bike to their next stop and lock the bike back to the closest SmartBike station.
The system is in use in 14 cities, including Barcelona, Washington D.C., and Oslo.
Hangzhou reverse China trend
21 August 2009. Bikes seemed to be disappearing from Chinese cities, but Hangzhou's public bike scheme, the first in China, is getting them back on the streets.
About a year ago the Hangzhou Municipal Government introduced 2,800 public bikes at 61 stations in the downtown areas in an attempt to arrest the traffic congestions that was choking the East China cityâ€”home to the West Lake tourist destination-- to a standstill.
The scheme has proved popular with tourists and residents alike, and has grown steadily.
Now Hangzhou aims to have 50,000 bicycles for rent at 2,000 service outlets by the end of this year, with an outlet every 100 meters in CBD.
The bikes are free for the first hour, a period long enough to ride a bicycle around the West Lake. Users are charged one yuan from the second hour to the third hour, two yuan from the third hour to the fourth hour, and three yuan from the fourth hour to the 24th hour.
People who neither return bicycles nor report a bicycle loss within 24 hours, are charged 10 yuan each day from their deposit in addition to normal fees that should have been collected. These users are blacklisted and lose the right to hire public bicycles for life.
Residents from 16 to 70 years old can hire the bikes using with their Hangzhou public transport pass cards or Hangzhou citizen cards. Tourists from other areas may apply for service cards at service outlets with their identity cards and 300 yuan deposit.
About 80 percent of hires are less than one hour and are therefore free. The longer hires generate about 200,000-300,000 yuan each month, far short of the 1.5 million yuan monthly cost of running the project.
City authorities plan to introduce revenue generating outdoor advertising on the bikes and at the rental stations, and with further system expansion, believe they can eventually break even on costs. Hangzhou is also planning to set up a public bicycle technology development company, to commercialize its public bicycle technologies.
Public bike schemes are also on the drawing boards in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Jinan, Wuhan, Changzhou and Sanya, driven by concerns over fuel prices, environment and congestion and traffic jams.
At the end of last year, with a 1.3 billion population, China had about 650 million bicycles, including 80 million e-bikes, while it had 65 million motor vehicles. But cars have become a symbol of wealth and in some cities, bicycle lanes are being abolished to create space for cars.
No Velib for Melbourne
6 August 2009. International public bikes giant JC Decaux have publicly admitted snubbing Melbourne's public bike tender and refusing to bid.
Decaux, whose massive Velib scheme in Paris is considered the flag bearer for public bikes, depends on advertising signage revenue to fund its systems.
The Melbourne tender severely restricts opportunities for on-street advertising, making the Decaux model uneconomic for the city.
The company had previously attempted to launch a public bike scheme in Melbourne, in a joint venture with the Connex operators Veolia, but the bid failed.
Decaux successfully bid for the Brisbane Public bike scheme in January, but the project has made little obvious progress since. The Brisbane scheme involves 2000 bikes and the contract is for a remarkable 20 years.
Veolia and other companies believed to be still in the Melbourne bid have systems with a transportation rather than advertising focus, and can operating economically without large advertising revenues.
Decaux has criticized the Melbourne bid process for its small size (600 bikes), limited scope (Melbourne municipality only) and lack of advertising revenue prospects.
JCDecaux’s CEO, Mr. Stephen O’Connor stated, “It is unfortunate, as we believe that Melbourne is a great City and offers excellent conditions to operate a public bicycle system. We have worked very hard over the last few years promoting JCDecaux’s business model that in our experience, is integral to establishing and maintaining a successful public bicycle system.”
From information made available to Bicycle Network Victoria, remaining bidders for the Melbourne scheme have systems equal to or better than the JC Decaux model.
It is true that 600 bikes is a small number for a scheme the size of Melbourne. It would not surprise if that number is increase before or soon after the scheme is launched next year.
Blue bikes for Côte d’Azur
28 July 2009. The French city of Nice, a favourite holiday destination on the Mediterranean, launches its public bike scheme this month in an attempt to beat the annual summer car crush.
The scheme has kicked off with 900 bikes, growing to 1750 by April next year.
The project is being managed by Veloway, which is rolling out a number of public bikes schemes around the globe. Veloway is part of the Veolia group, which is understood to be a bidder for the Melbourne tender.
The Nice bikes will operate from 175 base stations, located no more than 300 metres apart.
Nice, like many popular beach towns in Australia and elsewhere, is suffocating under the weight of cars every summer. It is building 100 kilometres of new bike paths to complement the public bikes, reducing congestion and improving amenity.
The Veloway public bikes have shaft drives and are said to be more durable than the common chain drive variety.
Paris: bikes bad, system good
Public bike bidders flock to Melbourne
4 June 2009. Melbourne's public bike tender has aroused interest from around the world as major international operators jockey for prime position to win the bid.
Since the tender was launched a month ago various companies, consultants and agents have been in Melbourne, sharpening their pencils and sizing up the Melbourne offer.
They have been attracted by the $5M subsidy available over fours years to the winning bidder.
Tender closes on June 18. The Government expects there could be six to 12 months of negotiations before the winning bidder is contracted.
A number of the contenders have contacted Bicycle Network Victoria seeking information about the city's bike facilities and bike culture. They are convinced Melburnians will love using public bikes.
At a briefing for bidders last week Department of Transport officials said the priority for the Melbourne project was integration with public transport.
The government regarded public bikes as another facet of the public transport portfolio, joining trains, trams, buses and taxis.
The first four year contract would be a base system, confined mostly within the City of Melbourne boundaries. If the base system proved successful, it would be expanded further across metropolitan Melbourne.
It was envisaged that the bike parking stations would be 300-500 metres apart, with emphasis on major attractions and transport nodes. Placement of the parking stations on footpaths was not acceptable.
Riders would have to be over 18, or over 15 with parental approval.
Riders could join by subscription, or be charged for specific time periods. Time periods would be short and long term hire to the likes of tourists would not be possible.
The government said it was seeking a single contractor to install, operate and maintain the system, although some lower level services could be sub-contracted.
The selected operator would have to have successfully operated a similar scheme. A successful funding model, with or without subsidy, would be a critical factor in the selection process, the DOT officials said.
RMIT trials bike hire alternative
19 May 2009. RMIT Industrial Design students are trialling a community based bike hire scheme pitched as a frugal alternative to the State Government's multi-million dollar public bike proposal.
The students say that Melbourne could open a new chapter in public transport provision if it adopted a public bikes scheme unique to the city and appropriate to the economy rather than one copied from foreign cities.
The RMIT project, known as Common Bike, is a not-for-profit scheme using regular bikes. Unlike the large-scale schemes, it is designed to be effective in low density suburbs.
The three-week trial is utilising 30 bikes based at eight hubs in the inner and northern suburbs.
Membership is $5 and each trip after the first requires a gold coin donation.
For details: http://www.commonbike.com/
Brumby splashes cash for public bikes
5 May 2009. Premier John Brumby has committed a $5m subsidyâ€”equivalent to more than $8000 per bikeâ€”to a public bike scheme for Melbourne.
Tenders were to be called this week for the project, which specifies 600 bikes at 50 stations around central Melbourne.
Sites are believed to include Federation Square, Melbourne University and Southern Cross Station.
Roads Minister Tim Pallas was reported as saying that the government was seeking an organisation that has successfully implemented a scheme elsewhere in a comparable environment.
Public bike schemes have operated with mixed success so far. They are being rolled out in a number of cities around the world. The successful implementations appear to be in cities which have high population densities.
By offering such a substantial subsidy for the scheme the government is signalling high expectations for the project.
A successful uptake of the scheme by the Melbourne public would highlight the serious inadequacies of current route infrastructure. This could increase pressure on the government and city authorities to accelerate their investment in new and better facilities.
The City of Melbourne is backing the concept, although it is not proposing any direct funding.
Montreal launches innovative scheme next week
5 May 2009. Montreal, Canada’s second largest city is launching a public bikes scheme with 3,000 bikes at 300 stations.
The service, called Bixi, will operate only in the snow-free months. It will start in the CBD and move into neighbourhoods later.
The Bixi scheme is considered to have several advantages over other public bikes schemes in operation. In particular to Montreal bike stations are "drop in", requiring no excavation for utility cabling.
This enables them to be easily moved and re-located via truck. They are solar powered.
The bikes are three-speed. The first half-hour will be free, the next half hour $1.50, and successive half-hours more expensive still.
The project is run by Montreal's parking authority, which has invested $15-million and but says it expects to break even without resorting to advertising signage revenue.
Eighty per cent of costs are expected to be covered through memberships at $78(Canadian) a year or $28 a month." A 24-hour pass is available for $5.
London to launch in 2010
5 May 2009. Planning has begun for the London Cycle Hire scheme, expected to be operating by this time next year.
Transport for London (TfL) has made application yesterday for 400 docking stations in central London, one every 300 metres
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “I pledged to deliver a cycling revolution across the city, and there is now a growing excitement about our cycle hire scheme, which will give all Londoners the opportunity to hop on a bike and experience the joys of cycling.
"Much like hailing a cab, people will be able to pick up one of 6,000 bikes and zip around town to their heart's content – not only a quick, easy and healthy option, but one that will also make London a more liveable city."
TfL expects the scheme to generate an extra 4000 bike trips a day.
It forms part of £111 million the mayor and TfL are investing in cycling this year.
Milan to expand operations
5 May 2009. Milan is expanding its stock of public bikes to 5000.
Milan introduced the BikeMe rental bikes last November with 1200 bikes at 103 stations in the town centre.
The project is operated by outdoor advertising firm by Clearchannel, which also runs schemes in Barcelona, Washington and Oslo.
The bikes in Milan are considered as an adjunct to public transport and are the same colours as buses and trams.
Trek joins public bikes movement
21 April 2009. Leading US bike manufacturer Trek has developed its own public bike design to offer cities and corporations around the world -- the B-cycle.
Trek and its partners have designed a "next-generation" bike-share program with data tracking to automatically capture information such as distance traveled, equivalent calories burned and carbon offset after each ride.
B-cycle members can access the system using their B-connected card. Walk-up riders use a credit card. Both B-cycle members and walk-up riders gain immediate access to the system upon approval.
The data is uploaded to a personal user profile on Bcycle.com.
The City of Denver is the first customer for the initiative, with 500 bikes available to the public at 30 to 40 stations throughout the city around mid year and doubling in size in 2010.
The program is being underwritten by $1 million in local funding and will be managed by a specially established non-profit organisation.
Melbourne City to back Brumby's public bikes
26 February 2009. The City Of Melbourne is expected to next week endorse the Brumby government's plan for a $5M public bike hire scheme in central Melbourne.
The Council and the Department of Transport (DOT) are preparing a Memorandum of Understanding which will see the Brumby initiative, part of his soon to be announced Victorian Transport Plan, establish bike vending stations at key locations on Melbourne's streets.
Staff from both organisations have been meeting over the last 12 months to assess the feasibility of the concept. No details of this investigation have been released to date.
The Council expects that the system will be implemented via a contract between DOT and a service provider selected by tender.
Public bike schemes have blossomed overseas recently, with mixed success. The City believes such a scheme could be effective in Melbourne for trips up to 10km.
According to Melbourne City the schemes comprise automated parking stations in public places operated via the internet or credit card. Users pay a refundable bond, a time charge, and can return the bike to any vending station.
The City wants the vending stations close to high public transport, safe bicycle routes and tourist accommodation.
Although the systems are part funded by advertising, the City wants to restrict advertising to the bikes so as to limit impact on the streetscape.
The City also says it will be consulted regarding the provision of helmets. Helmet provision for public bikes could prove a significant problem in Melbourne where helmets are compulsory.
Paris pulls plug on Velib bike rentals
11 February 2009. The much lauded Paris Velib bike rental scheme, with 15,000 hi-tech bikes and advanced infrastructure, has hit the skids.
JC Decaux, the firm that has set up and managed the scheme, is bailing out because it has proved financially unsustainable.
The Velib scheme was the biggest ever launched and attracted world-wide attention. Australian governments and councils have been enthralled by the concept and have foreshadowed extending the scheme locally. Brisbane has already signed up.
Velib was certainly popularâ€”the bikes have been rented on more than 42 million occassions in 18 months.
But more than half the original 15,000 specially designed bikes have vanished. Nearly all the original bikes have had to be replaced because of theft and vandalism. Each bike cost $800.
JC Decaux originally received a 10-year licence for the rights to 1600 Paris billboards for operating Velib. It also shared $40M in annual revenue with the city.
But it says it cannot now continue.
In an attempt to rescue the scheme the City authorities recently agreed to partly pay for replacement bikes.
Brisbane jumps for Paris-style bike scheme
23 January 2009. JCDecaux Australia has won a 20-year exclusive contract to operate Brisbane’s planned bike hire scheme.
The self-service hire scheme will be the first of its type in Australia.
Brisbane City Council will contribute $800,000 each year of the contract, with the remainder of the cost coming from advertising.
The contract covers the design, supply, installation and on-going maintenance of 150 self-service stations, and 2000 bikes.
Subscription to the scheme will cost $55 a year or $25 a quarter (casual users will pay $10 a day or $150 for 24 hours), with the first 30 minutes of use free.
Bike docking stations will operate 5am to 10pm every day of the year.
JCDecaux were selected over two other bids after a six-month competitive tender.
The company has advertising-funded bike hire schemes in 16 countries.