RACV welcomes new e-bike share scheme in Melbourne
Melbourne kicks off 12-month trial of Jump by Uber e-bike share scheme.
RACV has welcomed a new electric bike-share scheme, rolled out across inner Melbourne this week, as a convenient and sustainable alternative to help people move around the city.
The municipalities of Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip have agreed to a 12-month trial of the Jump e-bike share scheme, owned and operated by a subsidiary of ride-share company Uber. (More: Six questions to ask before buying an electric bike)
The first 400 bright-red e-bikes will be deployed across the City of Melbourne, with more to be rolled out across inner northern and southern suburbs after that.
The e-bikes, which can be booked via the Uber app, will have a top speed of 25kmh and will come with helmets and built-in cable locks so they can be secured to bike hoops. Riders must be 18 years or older.
Fees are still being finalised, but it is likely users will pay $1 to unlock the e-bikes and then 30 cents per minute of use.
The e-bikes will be maintained and serviced by Good Cycles, a local social enterprise that works with young people experiencing disadvantage.
In order to avoid the same fate as the oBike scheme, which was abandoned in mid-2018 amid a storm of complaints about dumped and abandoned bikes, Jump will establish a 24-hour complaint line and will be required to remove dumped or damaged bikes within a set timeframe. Users leaving the bikes in unapproved locations will be sent a notification via the Uber app, and will be fined if they fail to move the bike. Jump bikes have already been rolled out in 30 cities including Los Angeles, Auckland, London and Paris.
RACV hopes that the scheme will be embraced here and that people will consider using the e-bikes as a convenient, sustainable and fun way of getting around Melbourne. (Plus: RACV's Melbourne cycling superhighways revealed)
“Jump launching in Melbourne is great news,” says RACV’s senior manager mobility futures, Stuart Outhred. “We’re excited to see how an e-bike share scheme can help make Melbourne a more accessible city. The collaborative effort shown by local councils here is positive, but we are continuing to call on the state government to step up and invest in cycling infrastructure to keep riders safe and help share schemes have a chance at success.”
He also stresses that it is important for those using e-bikes to understand and follow the road rules. “Basically, if you can’t do it on a pushbike, you can’t do it on an e-bike.”