Auckland Transport considering bike share scheme

The Bewegen e-bike gets taken for a ride at a launch in Baltimore, United States.
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The Bewegen e-bike gets taken for a ride at a launch in Baltimore, United States.

An e-bike share scheme has been proposed for Auckland public transport hubs.

Auckland Council is currently reviewing a proposal by a consortium of high powered businesses for a pilot scheme which could result in a fleet of 100 shared e-bikes being available to hire across central Auckland.

Businesses behind the pilot proposal include software developer Centrality, Downer Construction, E-cycles NZ, an energy supplier, a telecommunications services provider and a media communications provider.

Centrality head of strategic partnerships Andy Higgs said the consortium had proposed entering into a partnership with Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council to trial the e-bike share service from October 2017.

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The pilot proposes e-bikes stations at 10 transport hubs in Auckland.

The consortium requested support from AT to allocate space at hubs such as Britomart Station for the 12 month pilot.

"The pilot results will provide information about where the bikes get used and where the benefit is for the users," Higgs said.

"The locations we have initially looked at are around AT hubs - if tied to existing AT hubs we can provide the best level of service to demonstrate real value," he said.

The group would run the pilot programme without public funding, he said.

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The pilot would be based on 12 month and six month user subscriptions, with corporate sponsorship also covering costs.

AT walking, cycling and community safety manager Kathryn King said it had received a proposal from a group looking to trial an e-bike share scheme in Auckland.

"We will be reviewing their proposal through the usual process," she said.

"To maximise the investment and benefits of Auckland's new cycleways and provide more transport choice and flexibility for Aucklanders, AT is considering the idea of a cycle share scheme for Auckland's city centre," King said.

AT was working with council and NZTA to decide if it should proceed to a detailed business case.

It would then be put out to tender, she said.

No final decision had been made but if AT did conduct a business case it would make a public announcement, she said.

E-cycles NZ director Darleen Tana said the consortium had selected Bewegen, a world leader in e-bike technology, as the pilot e-bike provider.

Tana said the bikes were easy to use and were designed for all season outdoor use.

"The customer only needs to adjust the seat and then get on and ride - yet the bike has all the bells and whistles," Tana said.

"They will take the bikes back at the end of the pilot if the programme is not successful," she said.

Bewegen describes itself as providing next-generation electric bicycle-sharing solutions. It allows users to unlock e-bikes from docking stations by using a smart phone app.

 - Stuff.co.nz

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