Riding With oBike!
Introduced in early July the oBike made their debut here in Melbourne. You may have seen these yellow bikes parked along the street, near your home, in a tree or in the Yarra River! The Singapore based bike sharing company allows you to hire a bike in three simple steps Unlock - Ride- Park, at the price of $1.99/30 minutes and a one-off $49.00 deposit. The dock-less bicycle sharing system allows you to "park at any location eligible for bicycle parking (www.o.bike).
Initially the bikes were placed in the CBD, Brunswick, South Yarra, Fitzroy, St.Kilda, and Carlton and have spread further, now available in Glenferrie Hawthorn. oBike hopes that with their bike share system being so easy and accessible that more people will ride instead of driving, using Uber or cabs. This will hopefully decrease traffic congestion; lowering individual's environmental impact and encouraging a more fit and healthy lifestyle.
However, there have been issues with step three - Park. With the bikes having a self-contained lock system and not requiring to be docked, they can be found scattered along the streets becoming obstacles for pedestrians and sense of amusement for people trying to leave them in obscure places; rooftops, trees, atop portaloos. City of Boroondara, like many other councils, is still working out how to deal with the bikes being left around the streets as two more bike share companies are planning to enter the market with approximately 1,000 more bikes.
Only introduced less than two months ago, it will be interesting to see with the warmer weather when people become more active outdoors, how the future of O'Bike and other bike share companies pans out.