ViaStrada's Andrew Macbeth (left) and Christchurch City Council's Simon Ginn recently tested Melbourne's new public bike share scheme, while on a trip looking at public transport futures for Christchurch. (The project is also investigating public transport systems in Adelaide, Auckland and Wellington.)
The smart bikes are paid for using a credit card and can be picked up from any of 50 stations around the city. After a small daily fee, the first half hour is free and you can hire bikes as many times over day as you like (so long as each trip is less than 30 minutes). Andrew and Simon explored the mostly car-free Docklands mixed-use area of restaurants, stores, offices and recreation, and found bikes were the most efficient way to cover this extensive area.
The aim of Melbourne Bike Share is to provide a public bicycle system for workers, commuters, residents, students, and visitors to inner Melbourne. More information on the scheme is available online.