Cycling in Brisbane Australia
Now this is interesting - a news item titled "China's oversupply of shared bikes creating piles of broken, unused..." reports that beacause of the ferocious competition between bike share companies in China and an associated glut of bike-share bikes clogging op the place they are considering expanding to some Australian Cities - maybe.
The news item says
Another company, Bluegogo, is hoping to bring the bikes to Sydney, as a starting point to roll them out to other Australian cities.
"We're not asking to dump tens of thousands of bikes on the streets of any city," Bluegogo's chief operating officer Ye Sun said. Mr Sun concedes mandatory helmet laws in Australia pose a challenge.
The City of Sydney is undertaking a feasibility study due to be completed mid-year.
I wonder what that means for our existing bikesharing hereabouts - I'm all in favour of bike-sharing schemes, it's just that there are "impediments" to riding around most Queensland CBDs.
A lot of people suggest that the mandatory helmet law is the big blocker, but .. yeah ... maybe a little bit ... though I reckon that the BIG turn-off is the lack of protected bike lanes in Queensland CBDs.
Inner-city roads are uncomfortable places to ride and the attitude of most road users doesn't make matters any better. Getting the bikes out on the street was only half the job and protected lanes should have been part of the rollout.
The much lobbied for and much denied protected CBD grid might just make the difference to having successful bike-share schemes here.
Anyway, could be that the the larger regional cities around Queensland could take the opportunity to get themselves a bike share scheme ...
The article fails to point to humans and their rubbish...
...and good it's in their face...
I think the mandatory helmet is a big dis-incentive. Certainly stops the casual/impulse user in their tracks. At least Clover Moore recognises the impact: "...Mayor Clover Moore acknowledged mandatory helmet laws were partly responsible for a low uptake of docked bike-sharing schemes...".
The CBD grid would be great, but the bike share system covers a whole lot more area than that.
There was a great paper on the links between system factors and usage rates by de Chardon et al recently.
The only caveat is that (IMO) helmet laws in Australia and a lack of infrastructure are symbiotic "governments think they have "solved" the cycling safety problem through helmet laws and invest less in bicycle infrastructure."
So in Australia, we can't "separate out" the effects of those factors just like that.
It seems this is still a happening thing that just won't go away and curiously it seems unconnected to whether the local bike share schemes are a raging success or not ...
So, let me wipe the tears of joy from my eyes and get on with it. Yesterday's Brisbane Times and lots of other media sites published a news item titled Bike-sharing boom travels from China to rest of the world (does grammar have no place in todays media headlines - did they think they would use up all the internet with those three more letters).
It was said, among other things, that
The bike-sharing boom reached Australia last week, as rows of 'free' yellow bicycles appeared on Melbourne's streets. Sydney is next, with hundreds of red bikes due in July.
Singapore's Obike was the first to market in Melbourne. Reddy Go, a Sydney venture backed by China's Bluegogo, is racing to catch up.
So, here I "strike my colours" and say unashamedly that in spite of it's lack of apparent success in Australia, I am a big fan of bike sharing schemes and CityCycle. It might be just an emotional response and a whole heap of confirmational bias happening in my head in the face of some pretty dismal usage numbers BUT in my mind it is a success - each night I walk home from my wage-slaving in the CBD I see people - normal people dressed in normal clothes - riding off into the winter gloom on CityCycles to who knows where. I would only concede that CityCycle is a failure if no-one used it - but it is used.
Maybe Brisbane has enough share bikes for the demand and the other bike-share companies won't be coming to Brisbane, but it seems the rest of the world has not given up on bike-share schemes. It would be nice to see bike-sharing on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, and Townsville and Cairns and Toowoomba and Brisbane Airport and anywhere else you can ride a bike.
... and it makes my wild monkey brain happy ... just a bit ...
Well I hope all these bike sharing schemes only add to the pressure for more infrastructure resulting in the normalisation of riding as everyday transport.