Share bikes come to Canberra

The dockless bike share dream isn't over for Australia, with Canberra set to run its own six month trial with Australian-owned company Airbike.

Announced by Acting ACT Transport Minister Mick Gentleman, the trial will involve a fleet 200 bikes, covering the city centre, ANU’s campus and the Parliamentary Zone.

Beginning on 30 July, the city’s first share bike scheme also comes with backing from the ACT Government, the National Capital Authority and the Australian National University.

The announcement comes after the recent withdrawal of dockless bike share companies from Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Acting Transport Minister Mick Gentlemen said the trial was to help encourage both locals and visitors to Canberra to choose an active and healthy way to move around the city.

"With dedicated bike parking zones, geo-fencing technologies and Airbike’s commitment to moving bikes as necessary, we are confident this trial will be of great benefit to Canberrans," Mr Gentlemen said.

“The trial seeks to establish a successful bike share scheme in the ACT which contributes to positioning Canberra as Australia’s cycling capital, is integrated with public transport, and provides a genuine transport option meeting the particular needs and preferences of Canberrans,” Mr Gentlemen said.

Under new ACT bike share guidelines, dockless bike share operators have to provide GPS tracking for all bikes and employ enough staff to ensure they can be recovered quickly if discarded.

With a 2026 target of seven per cent of all travel to be by bike, it’s clear that the ACT Government is making a big play to establish itself as one of the best places to ride a bike in Australia.  

Only last month the ACT Government announced an investment of $30 million towards active travel infrastructure and a new mountain bike network. 

Bicycle Network is a strong supporter of dockless share bikes and is keen to see the trial succeed as a potential model for other Australian cities.  

Ofo and ReddyGo quit 

It appears that red tape is the blame for the withdrawal of Reddy Go and Ofo from Australian markets. 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Reddy Go told it's users it was restructuring its business model due to regulatory requirements in Sydney and that members could collect free bikes from its warehouse in Alexandria.

In the same week, after less than a year in Australia, Ofo also announced that it was withdrawing from both Adelaide and Sydney within two months. 

The Chinese-owned company told that it now had made a “strategic decision to focus on priority markets internationally”.

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