The Gold Coast will once again have its own bike share scheme with a new operator to start within days.
Lime has been given the greenlight to operate 750 ‘electronically assisted’ bikes, which will be stationed between Burleigh Heads, Runaway Bay and Robina in time for Christmas.
Users will be able to unlock the bikes and an attached helmet through the use of the ‘Lime’ or ‘Uber’ phone apps, costing $1 to unlock and 45 cents per minute; or $16.99 for a 24 hour pass.
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Mayor Tom Tate is delighted to have a bike share service back following the success of the previous operator, and hopes more people will be able to ride them now that they’re pedal assisted.
“There’s ride assistance, so if you’re an old guy like me going up a hill, the battery will get me over the top.
“And that’s what it’s about; active travel, safe travel and enjoyable and fun,” Mayor Tate said.
It’s welcome news to Bicycle Queensland as well, which reports seeing a huge spike in people using bikes this year due to Covid.
“2020 has been a challenging year, but one of the outcomes of that is that people have really turned to the bicycle, not just for transport purposes but for mental health,” Chief Executive of Bicycle Queensland Rebecca Randazzo said.
“So it’s really important that schemes like this are really here now to continue that momentum and really people are more aware of their time and their health and wellbeing, and the bicycle is a great option for that, because it’s something for everybody.
“And the electric bike does allow for someone who’s a bit older in the community or someone like me – with a broken knee, we can get out and stay healthy on a bike,” Ms Randazzo said.
The bikes have built in GPS systems with the potential for the number of bikes to be increased and moved around the city.
Lime will also have a Gold Coast based team to monitor the bikes, to ensure the city’s visual amenity and safety remains a priority.
The new operator is the same that tried to launch E-scooters on the Gold Coast last year, but without approval from council.
Mayor Tom Tate has again assured that he won’t be bringing scooters here anytime soon.
“Scooters are out – it’s hideous, it’s unsafe, and what I don’t like about that is on the footpath I worry about our elderly who’s walking along the esplanade.
“The focus on the e-bike is much more responsible,” he said.