Thursday, November 2, 2017
Efforts are underway to ensure that abandoned yellow oBikes don’t become a major problem in Bayside this summer.
The Singapore based company’s dockless bikes have become a well-known eyesore for many inner city Councils as dumped or abandoned bikes cause a risk to the public and a drain on municipal resources.
Mayor Cr Alex del Porto said that as the weather warms up, Council expects higher levels of oBikes in Bayside as people use oBikes to travel around Bayside, particularly to visit the foreshore.
“Over recent months Council has been making it clear that abandoned bikes creating a public nuisance will not be tolerated,” Cr del Porto.
“Bayside was amongst the earliest Councils to make direct contact with oBikes to establish a system to ensure they appropriately manage their bikes in the municipality.
“This has resulted in a system where Council provides oBikes with 24 hour period to collect abandoned bikes before Council moves to impound them.
“This strategy has proven very effective and in spite of regular complaints from the community, oBike has been responsive to Council’s requests and all reported bikes have been collected within the 24 hour time frame.”
Council is now in the process of joining several other Melbourne Councils in establishing a Memorandum of Understanding with oBike. This agreement will then be used as a basis for guidelines with future suppliers that enter the market.
“Through its networks of paths and trails Bayside is very supportive of alternative means of transport,” Cr del Porto said.
“We acknowledge the benefits the oBike system has to users, however, a strong need exists to ensure that clear guidelines are in place so that bike share systems do not negatively impact on our community.”
Unlike other bike sharing schemes, Obkes do not have a specific docking station or parking area where bikes are returned. As a result cyclists can leave the bikes where ever their trip ends.
Cr del Porto said this had created a concern for some residents that oBikes would turn public places into dumping grounds.
“Residents understandably do not want bikes left on their nature strips, blocking their driveways or creating a walking hazard for pedestrians,” Cr del Porto said.
“We encourage residents to contact Council if they notice abandoned oBikes.
“A cooperative approach to managing bike share systems will help to ensure that Bayside can benefit from this new form of transport while minimising the impacts on our community.”
Residents wishing to report an abandoned oBike can call the 24 hour oBike hotline on 0452 512 453.