Bicycle Network: Better Transport
Many destinations don't have end of trip facilities. Now the public and private sectors are acting to fill the gap.
Bike stations arrive
30 November 2009. Private and public sector initiatives offering bike parking, shower facilities and other features have arrived in Melbourne.
The City of Melbourne has launched its prototype Bike Pod, providing public shower and change facilities for bike commuters, located in the City Square car park.
Also this month a new venture, BikePark, opened the first of its commuter destination centres centres in Banana Alley, along the Yarra North Bank near Queens Bridge. Another facility, incorporating a bike shop, known as The Bike Boutique, recently opene at the top end of the city in Liverpool Street.
And a major City Car Park operator has applied for a permit to convert an area of car parking in a major Flinders Lane car park into a fully equipped bike station.
The moves appear to be a reaction to the supply shortage of commuter bike parking in the CBD. Although new city buildings have been required to have bike spaces provided since 2005, many older buildings have next to no end-of-trip facilities.
The pilot Bike Pod project, jointly funded by the City of Melbourne and the Department of Transport at a cost of $553,520. The city is trialling the prototype pod with the view to extend the initiative to other areas of the city with a second bike pod is currently under construction and expected to be installed in the RMIT car park in 2010.
The bike pod unit has two self-contained shower cubicles complete with basins, mirrors, changing spaces, clothes hooks, bench seats and automated doors with time lapse facilities. It also has floor heating and drying.
The prototype bike pod was designed by the City of Melbourne and fabricated by Melbourne-based company Actco-Pickering Metal. The bike pod design enables units to be installed in a typical multistorey carpark.
The pod requires the equivalent to only one standard car spaces and is suitable for most car parks. The units are able to be flat-packed and fully constructed on-site.
The BikePark facility is located in one of the historic bluestone vaults at Banana Alley and offers bike maintenance as well as showers, lockers and parking. Membership and casual rates are offered.
The Bike Boutique is part of an international chain of similar operations, and also offers a Saturday morning organised ride for its customers.