Share bikes are once again back in Melbourne, with electric bike and scooter company Lime releasing hundreds of e-bikes previously owned by Jump.
Up to 300 bikes will be rolled out and parked in the Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip council areas from Monday 14 December, with a total of 800 bikes to be released in the coming months.
The bikes are not new to Melbourne. They were first made available in March 2020 by the Uber owned brand Jump, but were taken off the streets a few weeks later when COVID-19 first struck the city.
Jump was then sold to Lime, who acquired the bikes. The bikes have been re-skinned with some green Lime branding and Jump and Uber logos covered up, but they are still recognisable.
Lime say that with Melbourne coming out of coronavirus restrictions, the time is right to re-release the bikes.
"The company has been working with Melbourne councils while monitoring official health advice and determined now is the appropriate time to return to support local transport needs," said Head of Government Affairs for Lime Australia and New Zealand, Lauren Mentjox.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the City of Port Phillip, City of Melbourne and City of Yarra to help people move around Melbourne in a sustainable, safe and socially distanced manner.”
There has been a price hike to hire the bikes, costing $1 to unlock and then 45 cents a minute to ride. When first launched in Melbourne, Jump bikes were 30 cents a minute to ride. They will now cost almost $8 for a 15 minute ride.
People can also buy a 24 hour pass for $16.99 or a monthly $5.99 subscription which waives unlock fees. The bikes can be hired in either the Lime or Uber apps.
Bicycle Network General Manager of Public Affairs and Marketing Anthea Hargreaves said that using a bike is still the easiest way to get around this summer.
"Riding a bike is the easiest way to get around the city – it's faster than driving, helps with social distancing and finding a park is easy," said Ms Hargreaves.
"It's great to have sharebikes back in Melbourne and the timing is perfect now that the city is opening up again."
With an MoU struck to make sure bikes are parked properly and don't block footpaths, councils are happy to have the bikes back and hope they will help people get around during this COVID summer and reduce carbon emissions from transport.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said all forms of transport needed to be encouraged to attract more workers and visitors back to the city.
“We want to provide as many options as possible for people to travel into the city so they can rediscover their favourite laneway bar, boutique retailer or coffee spot,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Jumping on an e-bike is a quick and convenient way to travel and we are hoping it encourages even more Melburnians to visit the city.
“We’re fast-tracking 40 kilometres of new bike lanes in the City of Melbourne, which will make it even easier for people to ride safely on our streets.”
City of Yarra Mayor Gabrielle de Vietri said e-bikes will play an important role in Yarra’s recovery from COVID-19.
“Getting people to move around more sustainably will help us build back better from the pandemic, and help lower carbon emissions in our great city.”
City of Port Phillip Mayor Louise Crawford welcomed the e-bikes as an easy, sustainable way of getting around Port Phillip.
“E-bikes are a great way to experience the beauty of our City and the exciting summer arts program being planned under our Live Love Local campaign. We are adding new bike lanes to our existing network so there are plenty of great options for bike riders to enjoy,”
Good Cycles will service and maintain the bikes to make sure batteries are charged, tyres pumped up and that bikes are parked properly and available in accessible locations. Bikes will also be regularly cleaned and sanitised and helmets available with the bikes.
How to hire Lime bikes using the Lime app
Download the Lime app at www.li.me
- Open the Lime app.
- View the Lime map to locate available e-bikes.
- Go to the nearest e-bike.
- Use the Lime or Uber app to scan the vehicle’s QR code or enter the 7-digit number on the wheel hub to unlock the bike.
- Retract the lock from the rear wheel to start and off you go.
- Once you’re finished riding, lock the bike using the built in cable lock.
- Loop the helmet through the cable lock before locking so it’s there for the next rider!
The Lime map will show you places where you cannot park your bike, which includes anywhere outside the Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip council areas. It also highlights preferred parking locations for bikes.