Jump e-bike owned by Uber
A glimmer of hope for share bikes in Melbourne

Public bikes might be about to jump back onto the streets, with two Melbourne councils looking at working with electric share bike operators.

City of Melbourne is asking for expressions of interest from electric share bike operators, while City of Yarra is considering a proposal from Jump, a company owned by Uber.

It coincides with the removal of Melbourne Bike Share docks from the streets which stopped operating on 30 November.

City of Melbourne is looking for someone to run a 12-month trial and are willing to learn from the oBike experience.

“It’s important that operators offer geo-fencing to stop the bikes being parked in certain areas along with around-the-clock remote monitoring of the bikes and where they are located," said councillor Nic Frances-Gilley.

“E-bike share schemes operate successfully in many cities in the world. E-bikes can help people ride longer distances and get to where they’re going quicker.’’

Jump have already made a proposal to City of Melbourne, as well as Port Phillip and Yarra. It seems City of Melbourne is looking to see what other companies might do, while Yarra is contemplating the proposal.

Jump would like to start operating in Yarra in January or February 2020 with dockless ebikes that would be managed by local organisation Good Cycles.

While dockless, the bikes could have preferred parking locations as well as no-parking zones.

Unlike oBike, Jump are trying to get off to a happy start by asking councils for approval, however they acknowledge that there are no government laws stopping them from setting up shop regardless.

Having Melbourne's inner-city councils on board would be good not just for the companies, but also users. Melbourne Bike Share's biggest problem was a lack of locations – it is vital that people can ride wherever they want, not just within one municipality.

Share bikes can ease the load on public transport and reduce congestion on our roads and electric ones make riding viable for more people.

Longer trips could be made on a bike in short time and white collar workers can use them without getting too sweaty.

Jump bikes currently operate in the US and Europe. Earlier this year they publicly flagged interest in Australia.

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