28 November 2010

Bike Share Battlin' - Dublin v Melbourne


Mike Rubbo get's stuck into the bike share issue once again. This time comparing Dublin's amazingly sucessful Dublin Bikes with Melbourne's suffering Melbourne Bike Share.

10 comments:

Dave Kinkead said...

Mike, you've nailed the issue perfectly.

Lets just hope that state pollies in Australia get to see this clip.

Etienne de Briquenell said...

I'm sorry to say that Melbourne is leading the way in how NOT to introduce a bike share scheme. Mikael, please come back and talk some sense into the muppets who won't budge on this issue.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/helmet-law-hurting-shared-bike-scheme-20101128-18cf2.html

"MELBOURNE'S shared bicycles are languishing on city streets, six months after the scheme's launch.

VicRoads figures show an average of 183 trips a day are being made on the 450 blue bikes, which are costing taxpayers $5.5 million over four years.

The bike scheme has been crippled by Melbourne's compulsory helmet laws. In Melbourne last month, in a bid to encourage use of the bikes, the state government started subsidising the sale of $5 helmets from city convenience stores and two vending machines. Each helmet sold costs the public $8 in subsidies.
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Since the helmets went on sale, bike use has increased from an average 136 trips a day to 183."

Anonymous said...

Of course the apologists will blame:
- the weather (?)
- the 'hills' (?)
- the pricing

Because clearly these factors combined are responsible for the 20 times larger usage in Dublin compared to Melbourne!

Shortsighted Australians. It's not too late to swallow your pride and repeal the law. I'm sure most people would continue wearing a helmet but you'll be encouraging a new breed of bicycle user.

Cycling is safe. Stop dangerising it with 'safety gear' (aka 'danger gear').

Cars are the source of all the danger on our roads - they should all be fluorescent yellow and occupants forced to wear full racing gear.

l' homme au velo said...

We are not totally flat in Dublin we have Hills once you start leaving the Inner Core of the City,they are not bad Hills though depending on your Fitness Level. You can see one of them in that Video beside City Hall where Andrew Montague is.

I have seen People in Dunlaoghaire/Dun Leary which is around 10 KM or 7 Miles from the City Centre on these dublin.ie Bikes. They go all over on them and do not just stay in the City Centre.

There has been a huge uptake on these Bikes for only 450 of them.

shuichi said...

I am an ordinary Japanese. and I can't fully listen to your movie, but I have understand Dublin's rental bike has been successful. And I coincidently found that there are rental bicycles in Amsterdam via an kinder comment on my mama bicycle blog (indirectly). Anyway, I hope many trials would be successful by "hanging in there" spirits. Sorry if this seems rude!
I'm simply curious.Thanks.

Eneko Astigarraga said...

Is it worth to encourage Public Share Bikes where already are enough bicycles in traffic? Or is it a way to diminished the potential of private bicycles and to delay tackling the main needs of them? And is fair to show it as a cheap transport? Do you really know whether these users come from motorised modes of transport? Or is it only a question of having more and more cyclist on the street no matter how or where they came from?

Robert, Dublin said...

@Eneko- many of the cyclists would otherwise be pedestrians, not motorists.

The scheme has indeed been a huge success, but it's not the first time the question has been asked- Would the energy put into this scheme not be better directed at increasing the commuting mode split for cycling? (i.e. Your 'private bicycles [and] the main needs of them').

I don't think the question is 'either-or'. The bike scheme is a good idea, but is not enough, but without the bike scheme it would be difficult to encourage many people to try cycling otherwise (i.e. it is necessary, but not sufficient). I see this as phase 1 of a bigger cycling revolution. The city council now needs to move to phase 2- by 'phase 2' I don't just mean more DublinBikes, but a serious attitude to cycling as a viable mode of transport. The attitude is changing in the council**, but the pace of change is very slow, though at least it is slow *in the right direction*, for which we should be thankful. ;)

**although, during our current spell of very cold weather, the priorities of the council are very evident- the roads are being gritted and salted, but the cycle lanes/tracks and the footpaths are being totally ignored. What a topsy-turvy world.

Anonymous said...

One thing that bikeshare does for cyclists in cities without a strong cycling culture is to legitimize it as a means of transportation, which helps promote understanding from other road users. The video touched on this, and I think it's really important. Bikeshare lets cyclists say to drivers, "look, I have a right to be here on crowded downtown streets too, otherwise why would there be a bikeshare station right there."

Eneko Astigarraga said...

Robert, you are right wondering that this is a phase and it will increase the pace of cycling development. But I think it could be only a wonder. Meanwhile, the budget spent in this kind of schemes is enormous and in crisis times could condemn other potential budgets for cycling, such as improve more and better parking facilities, encourage school education towards cycling and so on.

I think this is a fairy tale that has a witch hidden somewhere and when you spot her maybe it would be too late.

Please check out how onerous is the contract dealt by the company involved on its running and how long will it last. Check also if there is a figure like deceased profit covering the risk of the company in case municipality wanted to quit the service.

Our experience here in Spain is that such schemes only pick users from public transport, from private cycling and from pedestrian modes, only a few are car drivers. And this is the main problem.

I spent a week last August in Dublin and I found quite a lot cyclists there. Much more than I'd ever expected. In these conditions, I consider is more effective to improve more facilities for these cyclists instead of getting more people on the streets on bicycles no matter how, and no matter where. You already have a critical mass there to ensure the success of other kind of programms and schemes more deep and more conscious than this public bikes stuff.

Paul said...

In Dublin, as well as the bike hire scheme, we also have a tax incentive scheme to encourage people to buy their own bikes for commuting. The bike sharing scheme mostly encourages pedestrians and public transport users to cycle, but also attracts people who would otherwise have used taxis over short distances – this is evident in the fact that the scheme has become very popular with barristers traveling to court across the city.

The tax scheme (bike2work) has encouraged many people out of their cars for their commute and also for leisure cycling. The government has provided some measures for these people, such as a dedicated floor of a car park in Dublin city centre, specifically for bikes; a 30kmph (a bit OTT) speed limit in the city centre & a ban on lorries from the cuty centre. We also have a cycling strategist on the council. Other private enterprises have also emerged, providing shower and changing facilities, monitored parking etc… and many new bike shops have sprung up in the city.

I think the bike scheme has helped to provide a bike centric culture in Dublin – where the bike is now part of the mindset of Dubliners. Only a few years ago, bikes were seen as a poor mans mode of transport. I also believe that the increased number of cyclists on our roads have increased cycling safety, through awareness and visibility.

Now if only they would sort out our poorly designed & maintained cycle lanes…