One year after Beijing-based dockless bike company Ofo quit its Adelaide operation, dockless bikes are coming back to the CBD.
Sydney-based company Airbike will roll out an initial fleet of 20 to 30 bikes in two weeks, InDaily reports. It’s expected the number will rise to 200 by the end of the year.
Dockless bike companies have been at the centre of controversy across Australia since launching in 2017; councils in both Melbourne and Sydney have been forced to implement rules to address problems of improperly placed bicycles.
Airbike operations manager Matthew Creen told InDaily the company hopes a slow inroad to the Adelaide market will help it avoid the mistakes of its predecessors. “We know that the way that other businesses came into the market, it was sort of more [a], ‘Let’s-dump-and-run’ attitude to the market entry,” he said.
Like Ofo, Airbike works via a mobile app. Once downloaded, the user signs up to an account that allows them to locate the nearest bike. A QR code is scanned to unlock the bike, and you’re off. A trip costs $1.30 for every 30 mins.
Airbike’s permit will be restricted to use within the Adelaide City Council boundary, according to InDaily.
The bikes will join Adelaide’s existing fleet of e-scooters, which rolled out in April.