Public and Active Transport Chair
E-bikes will be coming to Brisbane next year as part of Brisbane City Council’s e-mobility strategy to provide more travel options to more residents around the city.
Public and Active Transport Chair Ryan Murphy said since e-scooters arrived two years ago Brisbane residents had jumped on board the e-mobility trend and that Council would now take steps to introduce 2000 e-bikes for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“It has been 10 years since the introduction of CityCycle and residents have been moving away from pedal power in favour of electric for many years now,” Cr Murphy said.
“We want more people to be getting out of their car and using active transport and the introduction of e-scooters has shown us people love e-wheeling and want more of it.
“We are now taking the steps to open a tender for e-mobility which will introduce a shared, public-bike scheme in Brisbane.
“Brisbane is recognised around the globe as a leader in e-mobility and we want to keep our public bike hire scheme world-class and modern for residents and visitors.
“We have been looking to electrify the bike hire scheme for many years now, and I’m so pleased the timing is now right to take these steps and deliver a great scheme for residents and a fantastic outcome for ratepayers.
“The e-mobility tender will open in December and be for an initial term of one year with options to extend for additional periods, with a maximum of three years.
Key assessment criteria for tenderers will include public safety and day-to-day operations.
“Strong consideration will be given to safety features like helmet-lock systems and suitable deployment, maintenance, charging and parking arrangements.”
Cr Murphy confirmed that the CityCycle scheme would be phased out over the next 12 months, at no cost to ratepayers.
“Brisbane has embraced the CityCycle scheme over the past 10 years, but with ridership declining since November 2018, a decision needed to be made over the scheme’s future,” he said.
“The reality is that CityCycle is not as popular as it used to be, and COVID-19 has seen numbers reduced further. Today there are five trips being taken on an e-scooter for every trip on a CityCycle.
“Residents have voted with their feet and are opting for more modern transport options, like e-scooters and it’s up to Council to continue to innovate to meet the needs of today, not 10 years ago.
“We’re a hot, humid, sub-tropical city so when it comes to traveling that last mile from transport hub to home, e-wheeling can make it so much more comfortable.
“As we transition and bring this new and exciting transport mode to Brisbane, we are giving residents a chance to hold onto some memories of the CityCycle scheme.
“Council will offer a number of the CityCycle bikes and helmets to residents as part of its plan to continue encouraging active transport throughout Brisbane.
“We don’t care if it’s a pedal-powered bike, electric scooter or bike, skateboard or good old-fashioned walking. Every single trip taken out of a car means less congestion in Brisbane and a more active and sustainable city.”Cr Murphy said this transition would be supported by the new E-Mobility Strategy, with the draft now open for community consultation until the end of February next year.
“I strongly encourage people to have their say on the draft strategy, which will be used to guide future planning and help make e-mobility, including shared schemes, a key part of our city’s transport network,” he said.
The proposal has been supported by Civic Cabinet and is now expected to be approved at the full meeting of Council on Tuesday 1 December.
- The new e-bikes agreement will come into place mid-2021.
- CityCycle ridership peaked in November 2018, shortly after e-scooters were introduced with 71,633 trips taken in the month.
- CityCycle decommissioning will be staged between February 2021 to the end of 2021.
- There will be overlap where CityCycle continues to operate alongside the e-bikes.
- From 1 January to monthly membership CityCycle fees (currently between $3-$5) will be waived for existing and new members. Trips over 30 minutes will be charged as normal.
- The removal of the CityCycle scheme will come at no cost to Council.
- JCDecaux has developed a recycling plan for all components of the scheme, including stations, racks and bikes.