MELBOURNE'S first public bike hire scheme commenced operation this week, with the roll-out of the first ten stations and 100 bicycles in the Melbourne CBD. The scheme will cost $5.5 million over four years and the scheme is being run on behalf of the Victorian Government by RACV and US firm Alta Bicycle Share, which runs similar systems in four North American cities.
Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas was at the new bike station at Melbourne University in Parkville today with RACV General Manager for Member and Motoring Services Gordon Oakley for the early launch of the new Melbourne Bike Share system.
By the end of July, it is expected that there will be 600 bikes, docked at 50 stations around the CBD. The first ten station are located at: Melbourne Arts Centre Precinct, Hamer Hall, Southgate; Federation Square; corner Flinders Street and Swanston Street; City Square, Swanston Street; Bourke Street Mall, 205 Bourke Street; Bourke Street Mall – GPO, Elizabeth Street; The State Library of Victoria; RMIT University, Franklin Street; Melbourne University, Swanston Street; and Melbourne University, Tin Alley.
Mr Pallas did not provide information as to how many people as expected to use the scheme. A major issue with the scheme is law requiring cyclists to wear helmets. Helmets cannot be hired along with bikes, requiring would-be hirers to bring their own helmet.