O Bikes: Eco-Tech Or More Urban Clutter?

The dock-less bike system isn’t going to plan

You may have seen them around Sydney and Melbourne, the white and gold dock-less bikes parked on the side of the street, outside apartment blocks or around city parks.

The “O Bike”, a Singaporean company is trialling the bike-sharing scheme in Melbourne Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with mixed results.

The company believes the bike is promoting cheaper and more eco -friendly travel, unfortunately many of the O-bikes are being discarded. Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle even threatened to ban the bikes, describing them as “clutter.”

The bikes have been left in some pretty obscure places, including trees, roofs and even the Yarra River. Melbourne man, Tommy Jackett even created a video called “Fishing for O-bikes” and the video has since gone viral.

The main difference between O-bikes and the other bike share companies in Australia is the docking stations. Riders have to download the o-bike app to find the bike, reserve it and unlock it using Bluetooth technology.

To unlock an O-bike the rider will pay $1.99 per half hour. The security deposit is $69.
The bikes have already been banned in Amsterdam and 100 bikes were seized in London since July.

Despite the public backlash, the company believes the bikes are growing in popularity. O Bike Australia’s Chethan Rangaswamy  explains to the ABC:

"Ninety per cent of our bikes get used quite frequently; on average each bike has been ridden more than 10 times."

Although the bikes have been photographed in some compromising positions lately.





Whether the brave venture is successful remains to be seen, what can be seen now however, are o-bikes in trees, rivers and dumped by the side of the road.

Lead Image: O bike, Facebook

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