Following a meeting in November, six Sydney councils have announced new rules for bike sharing companies like oBike and Reddy Go.
Mayors from Canada Bay, City of Sydney, Inner West, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra came together to address the problem of improperly placed bicycles.
Three Melbourne councils were forced to take similar steps in October following rampant misuse of the bikes.
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Bike share operators will now be forced to use “geo-fencing” – a system that creates a virtual boundary in which users can park their bikes at the end of their trip.
Under the new rules dangerously parked bikes will need to be moved within three hours. Companies will be asked to actively redistribute bikes that are building up in particular parking spots. They will also be required to offer incentives for customers who relocate crowded bikes in congested areas.
A manned phone service will be required to take calls reporting broken bikes from 6am to 9pm daily. Broken bikes will need to be deactivated and removed within a week.
Inactive bikes will be impounded if not moved after 11 to 14 days. A fee will then be charged and if unpaid, the bike will be recycled.
All bikes will now be required to be fitted with bells, helmets, lights at the front and rear, as well as reflectors and a kickstand. Each vehicle will now also need to be covered by public liability insurance.
Council staff will have the right to request bikes are unlocked in the event they need to be moved, councils will also have access to data regarding number of users and trip origins to aid in urban development and transport planning.
The companies will also be required to inform users of the penalties that could be enforced for cycling offences.
Companies will have three months to comply with the new regulations.