Another stupid bicycle scheme

Brisbane's CityCycle scheme costs $520 per bike per year, as less than one in five used

EVERY bike available for hire under Brisbane City Council's beleaguered CityCycle scheme is costing ratepayers more than $520 a year. A financial breakdown of the scheme provided by the council's town clerk, shows each of the 1040 bicycles is being subsidised at a cost of $132.04 a quarter.

The number of bikes for hire is due to rise to 2000 by the end of the year, increasing the total cost to ratepayers to $264,080 a quarter.

As part of deal, 192 advertising panels and signs, as well as signage on bikes, have been allocated to French advertising company JCDecaux, which runs the scheme.

As of May 13, fewer than 5000 people had subscribed to CityCycle and less than one in five bicycles were being taken out each day.

Despite the lukewarm response, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the "scheme was growing". "We've said before, it's not a revolution in growth but it is growing every month and that will continue to occur as we roll more CityCycle stations out," Cr Quirk. "There will be another 50 stations built and they will be out around the University of Queensland and South Bank, around Eleanor Schonell Bridge and that will extend cycleway opportunities for a lot of people, particularly university students."

The main criticisms of CityCycle have been the difficulty and cost of subscribing, the lack of hire helmets available and the style of the bicycles themselves.

Subscriptions cost $11 for a day, $27.50 for three months and $60.50 for a year. Users pay extra if the bikes are not returned within 30 minutes.


1 comment:

  1. On a recent trip to China I noticed a very successful bike-hire scheme in the city of Hangzhou. A few differences of course - bicycles of all types are already very common forms of transport in China, the city is fairly flat and easy to get about on a bike, helmets are not compulsory.

    Other points in favour are the scheme is fairly cheap - even in local terms, and the fully-automated drop-off points are everywhere. Even so the more popular destinations often looked to have run out of bike bays and users of the scheme might have to walk a hundred metres or so from the next bike rack.

    Despite the differences the Australian scheme might still have a chance if helmet laws were changed. But not much chance of that in the Nanny State.


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