Auckland Council is extending the street trading licence of the region’s first dockless bike share system.
The licence lets OnzO operate for a further three months and allows for an additional 1,040 bikes. This follows an initial three-month trial period with 660 bikes.
“The council and Auckland Transport have been working closely with OnzO over the initial trial period to ensure that this first bike share scheme is successfully implemented in a way that works for Auckland,” says Peter Knight, the council’s manager of street trading.
“We look forward to applying what we've learned from the first trial and determine what the best approach is for our region.”
What we’ve learned
Mr Knight says that, as planned, the initial trial showed both the council and OnzO where improvements could be made.
“One challenge that customers face is the distribution of bikes. The small number permitted under the first licence meant that bikes were harder to find in popular areas like the city centre, and we hope having more bikes will help to address this.
“Allowing more bikes in the city centre will give customers more opportunities to use them on key cycle routes. We are also requiring the licence holder to have a more robust redistribution plan to circulate bikes around their licence area,” Mr Knight says.
“We have tightened up some parts of the contract to deal with contingencies should OnzO not comply with some of the requirements of the agreement.
“We’re also working alongside Auckland Transport to make sure the operators have safe bikes and they’re not causing problems on footpaths or being left in inappropriate places,” he says.
Auckland Transport’s Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager Kathryn King says extending the licence gives Aucklanders more opportunities to use the service and give bike riding a go.
“More and more people are getting on a bike in Auckland, and using a bike share service is one way to try out cycling and riding on Auckland’s new cycling infrastructure.
“We look forward to taking more learnings over this next trial period.”
While extra bike parking is being installed around the city centre in the coming months, bike share bicycles should be parked beside bikes stands, rather than in them.
It is a condition of the licence that bikes should be parked beside bicycle parking stands where possible, keeping the stands themselves available for bike riders with their own bikes.
Riding into the future
While Onzo is currently the only licenced bike share operator in Auckland, Mr Knight says that the council expects this number to increase over time.
“We’ve been working with one other potential operator who is in the process of applying for a licence. We’ll be able to apply the lessons we’ve learned from OnzO in the future with other operators.
“It’s important to us to make sure the amount of bikes on Auckland streets is an appropriate number, so that people can easily find and use a bike, but without them causing access issues on footpaths,” he says.