Wellington City’s first bike share scheme is being launched tomorrow (6 October) as a six-month trial that will see 200 fixed-gear bicycles available for hire around the central city.
The Council has provided Auckland-based company Onzo with a licence to operate their ‘dockless’ bike hire system, which doesn’t require special bike parking stations, until the end of March 2019.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester welcomes the bike share trial as a good opportunity to test the demand for this type of bike hire and how it fits in the context of Wellington.
“The central city is an ideal candidate for another cheap and easy transport option for short trips. We’re keen to see if it encourages more people to cycle – whether they just want to get across town or use it as part of their commute.
“We want to start with a trial because there are issues with bike shares in other precincts around the world. We want to make sure they are ironed out before we proceed further.”
During the trial, with data provided by Onzo, the Council will be looking at how well the bike share is working, including number and duration of trips, where people go, and where bikes are parked.
To hire the bikes, people have to download the Onzo app, create an account and log in to find the nearest bike. All bikes come with a helmet and lights. The cost to hire a bike is 25 cents for every 15 minutes.
Councillor Sarah Free, Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the Onzo bike share is another way in which the city is seeking to offer more transport choices for people.
“Dockless bikes can give people the flexibility to hire a bike when and where they need to. You could pick up a bike at the railway station and cycle to Wellington Hospital for example, or make a quick trip along the waterfront from one end of the CBD to the other. The trial will let us discover how people might want to use this service and how popular it is.”
Onzo’s Chief Operating Officer Harry Yang says the Wellington launch is an exciting move for them. “This type of bike share is common in many other cities around the world and helps to make riding bikes more accessible.”
People hiring the bikes are encouraged to park them beside a bike stand – the trip is easily finished when the user pulls down the lock on the back wheel. There are some parking restrictions on the Golden Mile, Cuba Mall, the waterfront and in central city parks.
Bikes will be regularly maintained and redistributed around the city by Onzo to make sure lots of bikes are not left in a few locations.