Is Gold Coast finally getting a bike-share scheme? Expressions of interest are being called

One of the world’s most innovative bike-share schemes may be rolled out on the Gold Coast before January is out.

Council is calling for expressions of interest for a scheme that is operated via mobile phone with riders able to park the bike anywhere after its use. Similar ‘dockless’ schemes that don’t require users to return the bike to a designated station are already in use in cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Manchester and Singapore.

Being an incredibly flat city, there’s literally hundreds of kilometres of bike paths, cycleways and nature trails across the Gold Coast, ideal for cycling.

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the worldwide expression of interest will  provide an operator with a ‘right of use’ to various locations in our city. The benefit to that being that it costs ratepayers nothing. The risk of operating the scheme and maintaining bikes and the IT systems rests with the operator.’

The plan is to establish the scheme in Southport, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Varsity Lakes.

The worlds most populated and culturally diverse cities have embraced bike-share schemes with gusto. As well as reducing congestion and having a positive impact on health, through active travel, they also reduce reliance on fossil fuels and encourage policy-makers to maintain and further develop active transport infrastructure, like shaded paths, bikeways and end-of-trip cycling facilities.

City of Gold Coast already has an Active Transport Plan which aims to transform the city into a walkable, cycle-friendly city for residents and visitors. The expression of interest is calling for a scheme that allow bikes to be self-locking and that is simple to use. The operator must be ready to start in January 2018 with the number of bikes scaled up and down to meet demand, especially during the Commonwealth Games.

The expression will be published on-line this weekend.

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