Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Melbourne's blue two-wheel elephant

Melbourne's blue bike share program cloaked in a veil of secrecy costing taxpayers $9,000 per bike over 4-years.

We see them taking up the streets and footpaths of the city but have users taken up their use?

The RACV refuses to provide detailed statistics on the take up rate thus preventing independent review of the blue bikes benefits.

Many of the locations where they are stationed are in out of the way locations, more of a focus to passing traffic then of use to Melbourne's bicycling community.

Notably there is no bike share station near the Botanical Garden's Gate D or near the eastern end of Fawkner Park near Toorak road or the Alfred Hospital. You can hire a blue helmet at the corner of Park Street and Domain Road but there are no bikes nearby. To borrow a bike you have to catch a tram 1km to St Kilda Road or walk across the Park and the Yarra River to Rod Laver Arena. If you want to borrow a bike for a three hour bike ride along Melbourne's Yarra River bike paths it will cost you over $35.00.

With the cost of a new bike from Big W priced at $99.00 the Government could give away over 55,000 bikes for the $5.5 Million forked out by tax payers for the blue mobile advertisements

There is little wonder why RACV will not publish the stations daily usage take up.

With the use of the Internet this data could be streamed on line and in real time. But then users would soon realize that this blue elephant is not what it claims to be. It certainly does not service Melbourne's bicycling community.


Melbourne Cyclist said...

For the cost of one year's Grand Prix we could have 6,000 bikes or 40 years of the bike share 600 bicycle program.

The main problem is the location of the bikes. the Botanical Gardens should have bikes available at three locations. Near the Observatory (Gate O), Gate D and Gate A. Toorak Road and Punt Road and the Alfred Hospital would also be good sites as well as St. Kilda pier. At an estimated 13,000 trips per month the government is paying over $10.00 a trip subsidy on top of the hire fee. They could provide free inner city travel on public transport.

MelbCity said...

Thanks for our comment.

You would think the zoo would be another location where they would have bike share stations.

Whoever designed and manages the system should be sacked. Looks like they are creaming the system for what it is worth. Daily station stats on the take up would be interesting. There is no reason why the RACV should withhold this information. It should be discoverable under FOI.

Visit Melbourne said...

Try visiting a couple of Melbourne's tourists destinations using the bike share scheme. A group of say 10 people wanting to visit Captain Cook's Cottage, The Old Melbourne Jail, The Royal Exhibition Buildings, the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and back to Federation square. You can forget the zoo, The Old Melbourne Jail, The Botanical Gardens and Captain Cook's Cottage as there is no bike share station nearby. Where there is a station there is not enough spare docking stations to allow you to dock the bikes.

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