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Bike Share project being taken for 5000 rides

Thursday, July 21, 2016   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: cycling, transport, physical activity

Christchurch City Council media release: 20th July 2016

Rob Henderson with one of the bikes from the Christchurch Bike Share Project.Shared bikes have been taken on 5000 trips around Christchurch since the pilot scheme was launched nearly a year ago.

Rob Henderson manages the Christchurch Bike Share Project, and is happy with its success so far. “We’re really pleased with the usage, and the really exciting thing has been the way that people are using it, and how the community has welcomed the scheme.”

The majority of trips (73 per cent) were made by Christchurch locals, 13 per cent by international tourists, and 14 per cent by visitors from around New Zealand. “That’s what we want, and what we envisaged,” Mr Henderson said. “Lots of locals using it for short, transport type trips going backwards and forwards across Christchurch.”

He believes demand will increase this summer as more office buildings open in the city and the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct becomes operational next year.

When the scheme began last August there were 30 bikes at five stations around the city but that has expanded to 36 bikes at six stations, including the latest one, which opened at the Bus Exchange. The other locations are Victoria Street, the Arts Centre, Gloucester Street, the Re:Start Mall and Epic on Tuam Street. Like similar schemes in London and Paris, people can pick up a bike from a station after registering online and use it to get around the city. Each trip is free for the first 30 minutes.

The Christchurch Bike Share scheme kicked off after $50,000 was raised through crowd funding in late 2014 and Spark agreed to sponsor the operating costs of the pilot. Mr Henderson’s aim was to make the regenerating central city more accessible and better connected. His project was named as a finalist in this year’s NZ Transport Agency Bike to the Future Awards in the Innovation Hub and Outstanding Contribution to a Bike Friendly Future categories. He hopes when the pilot ends next August he will be able to get funding to make the scheme permanent. The ultimate goal is to integrate the Spark Bikes with the public transport system. 

A $20,000 grant from the Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust has allowed the Bike Share project to employ a Masters student from Canterbury University to carry out research on how the Bike Share project is working. Her work started earlier this year.

One regular user of Spark Bikes, business owner Sarah Aspinwall of Canterbury Cheesemongers said they were “super convenient” and she used them for deliveries of cheeses and breads to local hotels and restaurants and for getting to Re:Start to do her banking.

“I would say it was using the Spark Bikes that made me realise that I ought to just get a bike, because it’s just so easy to get around Christchurch on a bike.”

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch