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.