The Wellington City Council has extended the licence for Onzo to continue operating their ‘dockless’ bike hire system in the capital until the end of 2020.
Councillor Sarah Free, Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the popularity of the Onzo bikes for short trips around town shows there is a demand for more transport options.
“Over 110,000 trips were recorded during the six-month trial and the feedback shows that most people use the bikes because they are fast and convenient. The Onzo bikes have increased the access to cycling for many people who might not choose to own a bike.
“We’ve extended the Onzo bike licence to align with the e-scooter trial so we can look at these micro-mobility options together. It’s great to see the large uptake of these bikes as part of changing transport patterns – and that some people are choosing to use an Onzo instead of their car.”
The Council surveyed residents as well as Onzo users to find out what people think about the dockless bike share. While there were some concerns about pedestrian safety, most of the residents surveyed thought people using Onzo bikes were generally safe and responsible riders, and that the scheme should continue.
In the coming weeks, bike numbers will be back to what they were at the start of the trial (200) with another 100 bikes likely to be added later in the year.
The Council will be working closely with Onzo to discourage people from riding on footpaths and improve the availability of cycle helmets as part of the ongoing licence conditions.
“Footpaths remain an area where pedestrians have priority. We are continuing to plan for more separated bike paths and will be looking at whether e-scooters will be able to use these.”
Data from Onzo shows that the areas of constant high use on weekdays and weekends are Wellington train station and Victoria University’s Pipitea campus, where many people start and end their trips. From Monday to Friday, people are starting and ending trips along Featherston Street and the Golden Mile to Kent Terrace. The waterfront is reasonably busy during the week, however more trips are finished along the waterfront and Oriental Parade at weekends.
Onzo’s Wellington Fleet Manager Max Kempthorne says it’s great to see Wellingtonians embracing the bikes so quickly. “We look forward to continuing to offer an easy transport alternative in the capital.”
Council officers are likely to report back on the e-scooter trial in early 2020, and consultation and engagement on a micro-mobility transport policy for shared schemes including bikes would happen in the following 12 months.