Brisbane CityCycles up for swap

Brisbane's CityCycle sharebike scheme is set to be shut down and replaced with dockless e-bikes in July 2021.

Brisbane City Council decided to cut the CityCycle scheme which has waned in popularity since electric scooters came on to the scene.

The council is going to tender for the e-bike scheme and is looking for two separate operators to supply a total of 2,000 e-bikes, about the same number of bikes as the CityCycle scheme.

"Brisbane has embraced the CityCycle scheme over the past 10 years, but with ridership declining since November 2018, a decision needed to be made over the scheme’s future," said Brisbane councillor Ryan Murphy.

"The reality is that CityCycle is not as popular as it used to be and COVID-19 has seen numbers reduced further. Today, there are five trips being taken on an e-scooter for every trip on a CityCycle."

"We’re a hot, humid, sub-tropical city so when it comes to travelling that last mile from transport hub to home, e-wheeling can make it so much more comfortable."

Plans will be made to help the proper use and parking of dockless e-bikes. Operators will also need to ensure an even spread of availability of bikes in the city centre and suburbs.

"Strong consideration will be given to safety features like helmet-lock systems and suitable deployment, maintenance, charging and parking arrangements," Cr Murphy said.

The existing bikes will be "recycled", a job to be done by JCDecaux whose advertising panels funded the CityCycle scheme. While docks and bikes will be removed from the streets, advertising boards will stay.

Decommissioning will begin in February 2021 with some overlap between the final shutdown of CityCycle and the introduction of dockless e-bikes.

CityCycle memberships will become free, however trips over 30 minutes will continue to be charged. The CityCycle call centre will continue to operate its standard hours.

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