Brisbane city center, like most city centers, is a very hectic place with lots of traffic that can make it difficult to get around. For tourists and many others, the best way to explore the inner city is by cycle.
Many cities in Australia have tried cycle schemes with varying successes. CityCycle Brisbane came into operation in 2010 and is run for Brisbane Council by JCDecaux an international company based in France. The scheme is based on the model used in London. The basis of the scheme is that 150 stations across Brisbane have Cycles that are available for public use.
The benefits of the scheme
The true benefit to using the scheme is its simplicity, go to the bike station take your bike go to wherever you want and return the bike to the nearest station to you. Everyone is aware of the complexity and costs of owning your own bike, this system provides you with all the benefits without any of the problems.
How does it work?
There are 150 stations in Brisbane and each station has a minimum of ten bikes docked and waiting. There are various membership schemes that are available to suit everyone’s usage criteria. A membership can be activated online or at the docking stations. With membership comes a pin that identifies you to the system, simply enter the pin and the bike can be removed from the docking station for instant use. The bike is then available for 30 minutes with no extra charge if it is used for a longer period of time a scale of charges becomes operational. When the bike is no longer required simply return to the nearest docking station and reinsert back into the docking system. The system automatically identifies the bike and records that you have returned it.
The future of CityCycle Brisbane
The scheme came into operation in 2010 and had very low usage initially. Its popularity has grown with the monthly usage figures growing from 6000 per month to more than 60000. Despite the usage growth achieved by the system, it is not yet profitable. it has produced an overall loss of close to $13 million. For a private institution, this loss would not be sustainable, but the council instigated this scheme primarily as a public service rather than a means of generating profit. Although other schemes have not been successful this one seems set to continue its growth. There is the possibility of profit in the future. The simple docking system that allows the identification of its users, is key to the success of this operation other, systems did not have this. Without the docking system bikes can be left anywhere making control impossible. There is no doubt that the simplicity of the system is an important factor in its success.
Even better with the app
An app has now been introduced to provide a greater user experience. The app uses GPS to provide real-time information on locations of stations and bike availability. It also supplies user information regarding account status and historical usage and cost that have been and are in the process of being incurred. The use of the app prevents arriving at stations to find that there are no bikes available.