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Bike Share: How does it fair?


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Wolf in sheep's clothing
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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think?
 

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I think it's great if you live in the inner-city, but I'm not going to carry a helmet in with me to use on the off chance that I might need one.
 

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Moderator
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That what now?

Actually I took it upon myself to find out, and seems Melbourne have just introduced a public bike hire scheme for the inner city (Melbourne BikeShare), consisting of 50 bike stations. I knew about the Brisbane version (Brisbane CityCycle), but thats not coming until later this year.

Its great to see this kind of thing being introduced, but I'm a little sceptical. I reckon most people that find it convenient to utilise bikes to get around the inner city would already be using their own bike (much better then that pretty basic, fairly daggy models provided by these schemes). I hope its a success in both cities though, be very interesting to see.
 

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JOIN YOUR UNION
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I'd use one for the first half hour. I honestly haven't seen any of the loading docks around the city though...isn't it supposed to launch in a few days?
 

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Bad idea in Sydney: even the thought of cycling uphill along Bourke, King or Oxford Sts is enough to make me get on a bus or walk. (And im a young fit guy - I cant imagine your average middle aged person even contemplating cycling)

This is of course not even taking into account the sheer fear of cycling in hectic traffic, in front of massive buses etc

Even if Clover Moore manages to build enough segregated cycleways to get rid of the death fear, Sydney's inner geography (imagine cycling along NSH Rd to Watsons Bay!) makes her dream unrealistic.

If anything, the state gov should build proper bike networks around Penrith, Parramatta and Liverpool where its pretty flat and traffic isn't too bad. Perhaps bike racks on T-way buses would help.
 

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I'd use one for the first half hour. I honestly haven't seen any of the loading docks around the city though...isn't it supposed to launch in a few days?
Its launchin on the 31st of May and the first 10 docking stations are at:
The first ten Melbourne Bike Share station locations will be at: the Melbourne Arts Centre Precinct; Federation Square; corner Flinders Street and Swanston Street (outside McDonalds); the City Square, Swanston Street; Bourke Street Mall, Swanston Street; the State Library of Victoria; RMIT University, Franklin Street; Lincoln Square, Swanston Street; Melbourne University, Swanston Street and Melbourne University, Tin Alley.
REF: http://www.bv.com.au/bikes-&-riding/42222/
 

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Also the melbourne bike share website has been updated with more info. Interestingly it only shows two stations available (currently).
 

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So the CityCycle scheme is up and running in Brisbane. Anyone used one, or noticed how successful its been? Good intentions, but I imagine the helmut issue is going to be a deal breaker for the vast majority of potential customers. A few photos from Flickr:

by leafypages

http://www.flickr.com/photos/leafypages/5190397943/

by The Central Scrutiniser

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hojucandy/5133432214/

by coffeekev

http://www.flickr.com/photos/coffeekev/5153177365/

by Uliuli

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uli-neu/5092509465/
 

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Super Moderator
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In Auckland the helmets are supplied with the bikes, however, bikes can only be rented here in advance via the internet so that really does mean it can't be a "spontaneous" bike rental here. You actually have to plan in advance whether or not you want to rent a bike.

Stupid laws about helmets to be honest. I never wore one in Britain and I cycled on country roads between vilages all the time!

Here is a very interesting blog post on the issue.
 

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http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/helmet-law-hurting-shared-bike-scheme-20101128-18cf2.html

Helmet law hurting shared bike scheme
Clay Lucas
November 29, 2010

Melburnians have failed to embrace the bicycle scheme, which has been successful overseas.

MELBOURNE'S shared bicycles are languishing on city streets, six months after the scheme's launch.

VicRoads figures show an average of 183 trips a day are being made on the 450 blue bikes, which are costing taxpayers $5.5 million over four years.

The bike scheme has been crippled by Melbourne's compulsory helmet laws. In Melbourne last month, in a bid to encourage use of the bikes, the state government started subsidising the sale of $5 helmets from city convenience stores and two vending machines. Each helmet sold costs the public $8 in subsidies.
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Since the helmets went on sale, bike use has increased from an average 136 trips a day to 183.

Melbourne's scheme lags far behind those in overseas cities. About 140 cities have introduced shared bikes; only Melbourne and Brisbane have compulsory helmet laws.

Dublin City Council's bike share scheme also has 450 bicycles. Launched last September, it now averages 3020 trips a day. Dublin councillor Andrew Montague, interviewed recently on bicycle blog situp-cycle.com about the success of Dublin's scheme, said more than 1 million trips had been taken on Dublin's 450 existing bicycles without a fatality, despite helmets being optional.

''So the chance of having an accident on these cycles is less than one in 1 million. The chances of you having a heart attack or having diabetes are very high,'' Cr Montague said. ''By encouraging people to cycle we are tackling the truly dangerous factors.''

He said Melbourne needed to remove its compulsory laws to succeed. ''It's clearly not working now [in Melbourne],'' he said.

Coalition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said Labor had spent ''enormous amounts of public money, and they just said the issue with helmets was going to be someone else's problem. Surely these issues should have been addressed before they went ahead.''

Under the scheme cyclists are charged a $50 annual fee (or $2.50 a day, or $8 a week), which allows them to take a bike from one of 50 CBD docking stations. If the bike is returned to a docking station within half an hour, there is no charge. Anyone riding a bike without a helmet faces a $146 fine.
 

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Solution to helmets: a specific exception
  • You are not obligated to wear a helmet on registered municipal bike hire scheme bikes
  • You may not sue the government for injuries resulting from not wearing a helmet, that were sustained on a municipal bike whilst not wearing a helmet.
  • You may or may not be able to sue other road users for other injuries
There, that should please the libertarians if nobody else.

Edit for clarification: you still must wear a helmet at all other times.
 

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swing low
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i would say it is still too early to tell with the brisbane scheme.. they are well behind schedule on the roll-out of new stations so it is very restricted at the moment.. i only find myself using it for my commute home-work-home and i could have done that sort of stuff with my own bike.
 

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I can just see it now. The Government relaxes the laws about hemets, someone riding the bike has an accident resulting in brain injury and then sues the Government.

I don't think I'd ever ride without one, espically through a major city. What's even more strange to see is when people are riding with a helmet on their handle bars. WTF? What's the point?
 

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The Delivery Guy
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^^ There would most definitely be a waiver, you ride this bicycle at your own risk yada yada yada, you will not hold the city council or any other government body accountable. Even with the helmets I bet there's a lengthy disclaimer.
 

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this scheme is laughable. 183 uses per day!!! wtf.


definitely shouldn't change the helmet laws though.

here are some facts from highly reputable internet sources that I could be bothered finding (actually websites that oppose helmet laws on the basis that they discourage cycling) but regardless of the source the reduction in injury/death rates are in keeping with official reputable data I have seen before. note that the last quote states that even when taking into account the reduced cycling rate post helmet laws there has been a 13% real reduction in injury rates.


Accidents by injury level for bicyclists, Victoria 1999

Accidents Fatal Serious Other Total %Fatal or Serious
Helmet worn 7 191 497 695 28%
Helmet not worn 3 48 74 125 40%
Unknown 0 43 139 182 23%
Total 10 282 710 1002 29%

Based on comparison of claims submitted to the TAC during 1989-1990 and 1990-1991, the number of cyclists killed or hospitalized with head injuries decreased by 51%, and the number with similarly severe injuries other than to the head decreased by 24%; for public hospital admissions (Figure 3), these numbers decreased 37% and 21%, respectively.
Allowing for the reduction in cycling gives only a 13% reduction for cyclists,
 
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