Bicycle Network: Better Transport
2 Bixi based public bike schemes
Follow the other schemes around the world that use the same bikes and technology as Melbourne
$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.