In 2018, lone yellow bicycles began to decorate our streets, nature strips, parking spaces, and, in many a bizarre case, the ponds and rivers of suburbia. The share-bike phenomenon has arrived in Australia – but what do our locals really think of it?
Lara Galea, 40, Mascot
I’ve seen them around and I think they’re a good idea, but they can be a bit of an eyesore. I’ve never used one. I don’t think I would.
Maria Thompson, 52, Kensington
I think they’re a great idea. It gets people exercising. But they can look a little bit messy if they’re left lying around. I can’t ride a bike so I wouldn’t use one.
Jessica Bono, 22, Carnes Hill
I live in the west so I don’t see many, except in the rivers as litter. There’s not many places to bike ride anyway.
And wouldn’t you get fined on them if you were riding without a helmet? I haven’t seen many of them with helmets supplied. That’s not good.
Eric Thai, 24, Casula
I think they’re a great concept. I think they took really well in Asian countries but their efficacy in Western countries is a bit questionable.
They reduce pollution, they’re easy to use, they’re cheap but they’re not doing too well.
We’re not raising enough awareness about these bikes and what they can do for us…The culture in Western countries is completely different to the culture in an Asian country. So we would react differently to the bikes than Asian countries did…[we] don’t seem to respect that they’re shared property… [And] we haven’t found a way to implement these bikes without having them damaged.
…People have been throwing them into rivers, into trees. It’s been quite a big issue and the money it takes to take them out or to fix them is quite high so I think that’s something to consider.
Gerry Feng, 19, Erskineville
They’re not really suited for Australian infrastructure. The idea of share bikes was really hot in China…it just works better because of the enclosed space that cities offer.
I just feel like in Australia, the urban planning and the area that Sydney has…means that you’re not going to find a share bike all too often…Australia’s infrastructure doesn’t allow for share bikes to become really useful.
I think a lot of people just throw them around. Just on my walk to the bus stop this morning from my house, there were about five or six share bikes just lying face-down on the ground, carelessly strewn about, and I was like yeah, that looks kind of disgusting.
I signed up for MoBike. It’s like $7 for unlimited rides for a month, so if I see one around, I’ll hop on. It’s not a large amount of money, so I signed up just for fun.
Sean He, 20, Seven Hills
They’re in very odd places. I don’t think the system works right now. They’re supposed to have helmets, but most of them don’t have helmets anymore.
Biking around is more convenient than buses.