on air now

‘It’s about education’: oBike Australia admits there’s a way to go before Melburnians adopt the bike sharing scheme

oBike Australia admits there’s some way to go before the dockless bike share scheme is adopted by Melburnians.

Tom Elliott questioned Chethan Rangaswamy, head of marketing for oBike Australia, why the oBikes were so often vandalised, discarded and mistreated.

“I’m ashamed of Melburnians. This company is putting out what could be a valuable public transport resource, and people are vandalising them. When did we become such a city of vandals?”

More than 40 oBikes had to be fished out of the Yarra River last month and the yellow bikes are often seen broken and dumped around the inner city.

“The onus is on us to educate our users, we are basically educating our users to do the right thing, to give them the right set of instructions but also changing the way people perceive what bike sharing is,” he said.

Tom Elliott: “Is Melbourne the worst city in which you operate?”

Chethan Rangaswamy: “It would be wrong to say that, it’s about public awareness. Bike sharing in Australia is in its infancy.”

The company has today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Melbourne, Port Phillip and Yarra Councils.

The councils will confiscate bikes obstructing footpaths, not parked upright, or any left on traffic islands or against trees, buildings, light poles or street furniture.

Tom Elliott questioned how the company could police the constant vandalism of the oBikes.

“There is no silver bullet to be frank with you what we do have is increase the number of team members who operate in the street to make sure they police it,” Mr Rangaswamy said.

The Environment Protection Authority has also weighed in on the management of the scheme.

Click PLAY below to hear the full story