Frankston gets charged up

Frankston City on Melbourne’s southern bayside is launching an e-bike scheme with 150 pedal-assisted bikes.

The scheme, which will be a 12-month trial, uses the Nueron pedalec bike from Singapore, a first for Victoria.

Launching within a week or so, the bikes will be ready for the test from the summer’s holidaymakers.

The bikes will be available for hire to anyone over 18 years of age, without a permit, throughout the municipality.

The City says the machines will prove the perfect addition for exploring the City’s many parks, playgrounds, local businesses and attractions, in a more sustainable, cost effective and active way.

Available from ‘virtual parking locations’ the bikes will be found within multiple suburbs of Frankston City including Seaford, Frankston North, Karingal, Frankston foreshore and Frankston South, including outside Peninsula Health, Monash University Peninsula Campus and the Visitor Information Centre.

Frankston City Mayor Nathan Conroy said pedal-assisted e-bikes will be easily accessible for residents and visitors.

“The pilot scheme will create around 15 jobs locally and could be expanded depending on demand”, Cr Conroy said.

"If the community loves the program it will help inform and influence decision making regarding bike paths and cycle lanes in the future.

“The pedal-assisted e-bikes will offer a safe, convenient and socially-distanced way to travel for residents and visitors, connecting people and places more easily and in a more sustainable way than motorised vehicles.

“They are yet another key draw-card for visitors and tourists to stay, explore and visit our local eateries and businesses, so it’s a win-win for everyone. For residents, the program opens up different routes and parts of the City that they might not normally frequent,” Mayor Conroy added.

Frankston City Council CEO, Phil Cantillon, said the pedal-assisted e-bike trial is another great example of Frankston City pioneering the latest smart technology as part of our Smart Cities program, which sits under our Future Ready Frankston corporate strategy.

“They will provide our community and visitors with greater access to environmentally-friendly transport options, reducing the reliance on cars for short journeys.

"As a zero emissions transport initiative, certified by the Carbon Reduction Institute, they also fit in perfectly with Frankston City Council’s Zero Emissions strategy,” Mr Cantillon said.

Head of Australia and New Zealand at Neuron Mobility, Richard Hannah, said his team are delighted to be partnering with Frankston City Council to launch the program.

“The Frankston landscape provides a superb environment for pedal-assisted e-bikes, with its numerous bike trails, stunning foreshore scenery and numerous parks and open spaces.

“Our pedal-assisted e-bike program is very different from previous bike sharing schemes. We have operations teams working around the clock changing batteries, safety checking, cleaning the e-bikes and moving them to where they are needed most.

"We also use GPS technology to control where the e-bikes go and to ensure they are parked responsibly,” Mr Hannah said.

Standard Single trips will cost AU$1 to unlock the e-bike and 45 cents per minute thereafter.

More frequent users have the option to purchase Neuron Passes, which are available in three-day (AU$25), weekly (AU$33), or monthly (AU$45) options.

The packages will allow users to ride as many times as they want for up to 90 minutes per day for a fixed affordable price. This will result in no additional unlocking fees and savings of up to 96%, according to Neuron.

The hire process is controlled by the Neuron app that features app-controlled helmet-lock that secures to the e-bike in between trips; topple detection; 000 emergency button; voice guidance to educate and warn riders on how to ride safely; and a ‘Follow my Ride’ function.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.