OBikes will be forced to follow strict new safety guidelines under a new agreement signed with three Melbourne inner city councils.
Under the agreement between the Singapore-based company and the cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Yarra, oBikes will have to ensure their bikes don’t obstruct footpath access and that any dangerously placed bikes are moved within two hours.
Mayor of Port Phillip Bernadene Voss welcomes the agreement and hopes it will stop the random dumping of bicycles around the city.
“I really dislike them being placed in the Yarra or in the Bay or in the canal or up trees I think that’s absolutely appalling, the problem is that’s not oBikes doing that,” Cr Voss says.
“That is the community doing something about it and that is a huge problem I don’t like seeing it and I don’t like the behaviour.”
Cr Voss says while some people in the community welcomed the bike-sharing system, others were not happy.
“Our community has really mixed views on the benefits or otherwise of oBikes, some people in the community think they’re absolutely fantastic others see them as a big blight on our landscape,” she says.
City of Melbourne Transport Portfolio chair Cr Nicolas Gilley says there is no argument about the benefits of cycling, but the needs of all city users are important.
“At City of Melbourne we are continually looking at ways to promote cycling and make it easier for people to use bikes, but the safety of all city users shouldn’t be compromised in the process,” Cr Gilley says.
The agreement means compliance officers from the cities of Port Phillip, Melbourne and Yarra have the power to confiscate and impound bikes left in dangerous or inappropriate places..
OBikes will then have to pay a small fee to claim the bicycles within 14 days.
Several companies have expressed an interest in the dockless bike sharing system and municipalities have urged the government to establish state-wide regulations to cover it.
Other requirements under the new agreement include, ensuring bikes are upright at all times, are not parked on steps and are parked away from the curb.
For more information you can contact oBike on their 24 hour hotline at 0452 512 453 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org