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Melbourne’s blue city bikes have a new cheaper competitor

Melbourne’s blue city bikes have a new cheaper competitor
Photograph: Supplied

Melbourne is pretty well-known for its bike culture. While we’re leagues behind some European cities when it comes to a completely bike-friendly city centre, we are getting there – even if it means cheating death daily to make a hook turn on Elizabeth Street.  

Back in 2010, Melbourne welcomed the RACV-backed blue bike sharing system that lets users unlock bikes for 30-minute rides for around $3 a day. These blue bikes (and their matching Melbourne-stamped helmets) are synonymous with our city, but now a new yellow competitor has launched to shake things up a little.  

Singapore-based operator oBike has launched in Australia this week. It’s a similar platform to the blue bike sharing system, in that it allows users to take short trips around the city. According to oBike’s Australian website, their main goal is to reduce traffic congestion, help to reduce environmental pollution and make the city a better place to live in. Ace.

The main difference between the two systems is how they’re docked. While the original blue bike sharing system has dedicated docking zones around the CBD, oBike is a little more high tech and mobile. 

According to the Age, the yellow bikes are left in public parking areas and can be unlocked remotely via an app on your phone, which means you can pick up and drop off your bike anywhere you like, as opposed to returning it to a docking station. Costs for oBike are $1.99 for 30 minutes. Users will need to scan a QR code on the bike, or search for and reserve a bike in advance. To end your trip, you’ll have to lock the bike manually and park it any location eligible for bicycle parking.

While a dockless system does sound good, it also raises a few theft concerns. But hey, here’s hoping the Melbourne public aren’t complete monsters.  

oBike is now operating across Melbourne’s CBD – you keep an eye out for these yellow bikes on your next city stroll.

Via the Age.

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