Sydney’s first bike sharing system launched on the weekend, which is probably the reason you are suddenly seeing red bikes dotting the landscape.
Reddy Go is operated via an app, with each bike costing $1.99 for half an hour. 160 bicycles hit the streets on the weekend, with the plan to launch a further 6,000 bikes before Christmas.
Singapore’s oBike launched in Melbourne in May with a similar system in place. So far it seems to be successful.
Brisbane’s CityCycle initiative has been active since 2010, but has largely been criticised as a waste of tax-payer funds, costing $8.3m in under five years of operation, while being largely under-utilised. The main stumbling blocks for CityCycle have been the need to source a helmet from elsewhere, and to pick up and return the bikes to one of the dedicated terminals.
Reddy Co. has avoided both these hurdles, including a helmet with each bike as part of the cost, and implementing a stand-alone, dockless system which allows the bikes to be left anywhere. Anywhere legal, that is.
“No parking hub required”, the site explains. “Just park it somewhere safe and legal, such as existing parking racks, a pole, or fences. Do not block drive way, footpath, emergence exit or other important places.”
First weekend wrinkles to iron out — as dutifully reported to social media by users — seem to be a less-than-initiative locking system, and the app’s failure to read some credit cards. As with all start-ups, the company’s ability to quickly sort out such teething issues will be key.
The Daily Mail points out that a similar service will be trialled at the University of Sydney in September, with students given access to 50 bicycles.