Dockless bike share in Canberra will continue to operate for an additional 12 months from 30 April 2019 as bike share provider, Airbike, has been granted an extended land use permit.
The 12 month permit will ensure there’s no break in the bike share services for the ACT community while the longer term position on shared mobility in the integrated transport network is considered, including e-scooters.
Airbike has permission to gradually increase the fleet from 200 to 400 dockless bikes in small, controlled batches and e-bikes will be considered in the expansion. The bikes will continue to be released within the operational zone in central Canberra, including the Australian National University (ANU), the Civic Centre and the Parliamentary Zone.
On 31 July 2018, the ACT Government, the ANU and the National Capital Authority (NCA) commenced a six-month trial of dockless bike share with Airbike.
“The trial partners worked cooperatively to develop simple, clear rules and expectations to manage public safety and amenity,” said Minister for Transport, Meegan Fitzharris.
“The trial was launched at a time when the public were concerned about dockless bike share, due to reports of share bikes being vandalised in other jurisdictions in Australia and cities around the world. Which is why the bikes were released in small numbers and in controlled locations.
“Within the six-month trial, the bikes were well used, with the highest usage between Civic and the ANU and Braddon. Users generally parked the bikes either in the specially marked bike share parking, or in bike racks or placed them in the open for the next user or collection by Airbike.
“Damage to the bikes was minimal and early initial complaints about ‘abandoned’ bikes diminished as the community became accustomed to share bikes positioned around the city. Airbike exceeded expectations responding to all urgent requests for removal of bikes within an average of 23 minutes; and non-urgent reports within 24 hours,” said Minister Fitzharris.
The trial has demonstrated that bike share can be successful when the parties work together and has showcased Canberra as an innovative, bicycle-friendly city that values good health, community and environmental outcomes.