Bike shar­ing on the table

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARY FITZGERALD

Auck­lan­ders may soon be able to en­joy city cy­cling with­out hav­ing to own a bike.

Auck­land Trans­port (AT) and NZTA are con­sid­er­ing a cy­cle share pro­gramme in Auck­land’s city cen­tre.

With big num­bers of peo­ple tak­ing to two wheels and new cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture in place around the city, AT be­lieved the time was right to in­ves­ti­gate op­tions for a cy­cle share scheme.

A fea­si­bil­ity study was un­der­way into how such a scheme would op­er­ate.

It would look at how it could be funded and what sort of bikes and tech­nol­ogy would be used.

The scheme could be launched by the end of 2019.

Last month it was re­ported that Auck­land Coun­cil was re­view­ing a pro­posal by a con­sor­tium of high pow­ered busi­nesses for a pi­lot scheme which could re­sult in a fleet of 100 shared e-bikes be­ing avail­able to hire across cen­tral Auck­land.

The pi­lot pro­posed e-bikes sta­tions at 10 trans­port hubs in Auck­land.

Busi­nesses be­hind the pi­lot pro­posal in­clude soft­ware de­vel­oper Cen­tral­ity, Downer Con­struc­tion, E-cy­cles NZ, an en­ergy sup­plier, a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices provider and a me­dia com­mu­ni­ca­tions provider.

Cen­tral­ity head of strate­gic part­ner­ships Andy Higgs said the con­sor­tium had pro­posed en­ter­ing into a part­ner­ship with Auck­land Trans­port (AT) and Auck­land Coun­cil to trial the e-bike share ser­vice from Oc­to­ber 2017.

Auck­land mayor Phil Goff said cy­cling in Auck­land was on the rise.

‘‘I wel­come the govern­ment work­ing with AT to in­ves­ti­gate po­ten­tial for a cy­cle share pro­gramme in Auck­land,’’ he said.

Auck­land Trans­port walk­ing, cy­cling and road safety man­ager Kathryn King said there was in­ter­na­tional ev­i­dence cy­cle share schemes worked when done right.

Bike ad­vo­cacy group Bike Auck­land chair­woman Bar­bara Cuth­bert said she was in favour of any­thing that made it eas­ier for peo­ple to con­sider us­ing bikes in Auck­land.

A bike share scheme ad­dressed the bar­rier of cy­cle own­er­ship and bike stor­age for many peo­ple.

‘‘Along with car shar­ing, it’s a clear sign of a ma­tur­ing ur­ban trans­port sys­tem,’’ Cuth­bert said.

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