FORGET the tram – you’ll soon be able to use your phone to find and hire a bike to ride around the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast City Council will this weekend launch a global expression of interest for an international company to set up a “dockless” bike share scheme on the Coast by January 2018.
Mayor Tom Tate said the city, with its perfect weather and hundreds of kilometres of cycleways and nature trails, was ideal for a bike share scheme.
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“I hope an operator sees the Gold Coast as a great destination to launch their scheme,’’ Mayor Tate said.
“We’ve got amazing weather, the terrain is relatively flat and there’s hundreds of kilometres of cycleways and nature trails.
“We are putting out a worldwide expression that will provide an operator with a ‘right of use’ to various locations in our city.
“The benefit here is that it costs ratepayers nothing. The risk of operating the scheme and maintaining bikes and the IT systems rests with the operator.”
Council plans to establish the scheme first in Southport, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Varsity Lakes.
The new “dockless” schemes do not require riders to return their bike to a designated parking station.
Instead, residents and tourists will be able to locate a bike, tracked via GPS, through an app and ride it to their destination from where the next user will be able to locate it.
Similar schemes are already operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Manchester and Singapore.
“That’s what we want. Absolute flexibility unlike other schemes where the bikes are racked in bays and there are associated costs in that infrastructure,’’ Deputy Mayor Cr Donna Gates said.
“This will be the most flexible, easy-to-use system operated off a person’s mobile phone.’’
Council aims to have the scheme operating by January 2018 and says the number of bikes will be increased during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The expression of interest will be published on-line this weekend.