CityCycle bike share grows in popularity

While dockless share bikes have floundered in Australia, Brisbane’s docked CityCycle scheme continues to grow in popularity.

The latest CityCycle data revealed that on average, more than 2,000 trips are taken each day. This is an increase of 35 per cent in the past year.

Introduced in 2010, the Brisbane City Council share bike scheme CityCycle now has more than 150 stations across inner Brisbane stretching from Newstead to the West End and Toowong.

Modelled on the London scheme, each docking station is in close proximity to each other with a minimum of 10 bike racks. Another benefit is that you can ride all day for free if bikes are returned within half-hour intervals.

The scheme has cost taxpayers $27.6 million in total since its inception and generated only $14.7 million. However, profit is not seen as fundamental with the scheme viewed as a public service.  

CityCycle is one of two docked bike share schemes in Australia, with the other in Melbourne.

The key to a successful bike share scheme is accessibility, location and scale. Studies show that the presence of high quality bicycle infrastructure is considered crucial as the length of segregated bicycle paths near docking stations impact use.

Sadly, dockless share bikes haven’t had the same success in Australia. Earlier this year, oBike withdrew from Melbourne and ReddyGo left Sydney unable to overcome strict restrictions or negative public perception. This is despite reports that bike share accounted for more than 6,500 active transport trips per day across Sydney.

Brisbane City Councillor Adrian Schrinner told Fairfax that he believes that CityCycle usage has grown due to visibility and changes to membership.

“It’s now a more streamlined process [to hire a bike], you can tap and go at the machine,” Cr Schrinner said.

“CityCycle is also now more visible around the city as more people use it. That in itself drives more people to give it a go.”

See the article as it appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.