Public Bikes are not far away for Christchurch

In amongst everything else cycle-wise going on around the city, it’s exciting to know that soon we will also have our pilot public bike scheme up and running. As you may recall, thanks to a great crowd-funding initiative late last year and some corporate sponsorship from Spark and other supporters, Christchurch will soon have its own little bike share scheme in the central city. “Spark Bikes” will initially be set up at five stations:

    • Victoria Street (near the casino)
    • Gloucester Street (near New Regent)
    • Re:START Mall
    • Tuam Street (near Manchester)
    • Worcester Blvd (near the Arts Centre)

The bikes and stations have just arrived from overseas (from German-based Nextbike) and now hopefully they can be installed very quickly!

(c/ Chch Bike Share)
(c/ Chch Bike Share)

The public bikes allow you up to 30 minutes free biking between stations or $4 for every hour after that (still pretty cheap for a short day bike-hire). So how will it work? The simplest way is to download the Apple or Android app for your phone (you can also use the Nextbike website or their 09-909-9090 hotline). Indicate which bike you’d like to borrow (each has a unique number on it) and you will be sent the code to unlock it. When you’re finished at the other end, lock it up and confirm your return by either the app, website or phone again.

A few of the bikes themselves have already been around Christchurch for a while, thanks to the tireless efforts of Rob Henderson to get bike-share going in the city. Some of you may have come across some of the bikes at local trials on Canterbury Uni campus, the District Health Board and the City Council. Rob has also lent a few out to those in need of a bike during events like the Lazy Sunday Cycle Rides.

Rob Henderson, the driving force behind Public Bikes in Chch
Rob Henderson, the driving force behind Public Bikes in Chch

You don’t have to wait until the scheme is up and running to be signed up and ready to use them. Just go to the Nextbike webpage now and register yourself for a new account. You’ll need a credit card, which will take $4 for initial registration (to check the validity of the card) that can be used towards your next long hire.

Thanks to all the sponsors and crowd-funding supporters!
Thanks to all the sponsors and crowd-funding supporters!

Keep up to date with what’s happening to Chch Bike Share via their Facebook page. Not long to go now!

Are you looking forward to using the Spark Bikes around town?

3 thoughts on “Public Bikes are not far away for Christchurch”

  1. TBH this would be better to kick off in spring, as things warm up, and not in the depths of winter.

    How are they handling the helmet requirement?

    1. Well I think mid-late August is getting pretty close to the start of spring (gives time to iron out any teething problems before the onslaught of users too).

      Each bike comes with an adjustable helmet attached to the lock. These are regularly sanitised. Or bring your own if you’re squeamish I guess.

  2. Good luck to them. I’m just back from 5 days in Melbourne, where the bike scheme appears to be an abject failure. Also noticed on a visit to Brisbane in June very poor usage. Compare and contrast to cities such as Dublin, which although suffering from worse weather, have higher uptake.

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