Christchurch will launch a free public bike-share system this June linking key sites within the New Zealand city’s CBD.
The Spark Bike-share system will see Spark Bike stations set up at Victoria Street, Gloucester Street, Re:START Mall, Tuam Street and Worcester Boulevard.
Last year, local entrepreneur Rob Henderson launched a crowd-funding initiative to kick-start the project and received overwhelming support from the Christchurch community.
“Christchurch’s naturally flat landscape combined with the chance for innovation as we rebuild, was what gave us the idea for a bike sharing system here,” he said.
“We’re thrilled that Spark has generously come to the party to cover the daily operation of the bikes, and to make the bike-share system a reality.”
All Spark Bike trips under 30 minutes will be free – with the stations set up throughout the city to allow for a short commute between docking points.
Spark CEO for home, mobile and business, Chris Quin, says access to free bikes in the city centre will help to support the rejuvenation of Christchurch by drawing more visitors to the CBD.
“Bike share systems operate in some of the most vibrant cities in the world, where they play an integral part of a city’s public transport mix,” he added. “When Rob came to us with a similar idea for Christchurch, we couldn’t wait to get behind him.”
“When you look at some of the amazing change happening around the city centre, what better way for people to experience this, and to support local businesses, than through a world-class free bike sharing scheme.”
There will be a one-off NZ$4 registration fee for first-time users and a NZ$4 per hour charge for trips over 30 minutes.
Each Spark Bike docking station will also include a map of the surrounding area – directing cyclists to the city’s local attractions and free Spark wi-fi hotspots. The bikes will also come complete with their own safety helmet and combination lock.