Bike Sharing System, Cell Bikes has a bike leasing program on the design table.

(G'Day guys, here's a recent press release we've just done, have a look and let me know what you think regarding such a proposed system and its viability)

Sydney, Australia-December 12, 2008-A Sydney based bike company Cell Bikes has been working on a commuter bike sharing system to provide a environmentally friendly option to Australian Cities, Universities, Resorts and Organizations interested in this kind of solution.

The system comprises of: the bike, the docking station, the street kiosk, the Internet website, and the maintenance/distribution logistics. The bike will utilize state of the art design and materials.

It uses the Shimano Nexus 8 speed drivetrain and brakes for low maintenance and long term durability. The rider has an upright position on a comfortable saddle, a large range of adjustments to suit 90% of all cyclists, the tyres have an anti-puncture compound, and a front hub generator to power a set of front and rear lights while the bicycle is in motion... (the complete article can be found on WordPress by following this link)

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Yeah, I've heard of the 'Vienna incident'. It's a bit of a catch-22, we don't want to take away anyone's job, however we're trying to make Sydney a more pleasant and safer city to ride in.

I'm not anti-car, however the fewer unecessary vehicles on the road, the better. Being from the US, seeing businessmen driving their status symbol SUV's while talking on their mobile was quite a common site, I'd like this kind of system to encourage these types of people to take up a bike!
I like the idea. But from the article:

"The use of a helmet is compulsory in Australia, and will be available with the bike for public use, however, riders will be encouraged to use their own helmet, as a helmet is personal item."

If you have your own personal helmet you're likely to also have your own bike. And if you didn't have a helmet, you might not be inclined to use the one that comes with the rental bike - the chances of it fitting and not being sweaty/dirty from previous use are slim.
Yes, the helmet issue is a MAJOR sticking point, however for the greater good, it's something that needs to be worked around.

What we propose is that an 'almost 1-size fits-all' helmet comes with the bike (kept in the back, on the rack/luggage compartment) and you'd still have access to storage via side-panniers.

Again, thanks for your feedback, every constructive comment/concern we receive will help refine this system.
Maybe you could sell K-Mart quality helmets for cost price + a bit. I don't know what the wholesale price for cheep helmets are, but K-Mart are currently selling some for $17.99 and I'm sure they are still making a profit. Just a thought.

EDIT: The other day (a few months ago) I was in the market for a new helmet, and according to the LBS, the difference between the cheep helmets and the expensive helmets are comfort and weight. The $500 helmet I tried felt like I didn't have anything on my head, but it was a bit to expensive to some styrofoam packaging.
How did I know that reply was coming. You're getting predictable Colin :)
I think that was Dave W's avatar for a while
Make that "anti-mandatory helmet" advocates.
Hair nets, man, hair nets
It seems to work in Paris. They were installing more while we were there in July.
They even had a race around the Champs Elysées before the Riders came in on Le Tour.
Regarding the sanitation helmet issue, perhaps like someone mentioned...hairnets, or possibly some kind of 1-use liner thats breathable and bio-degradable.
Totally agree regarding 'evolving', Europe and Asia tend to implement changes much faster probably due to the congestion and resource issues.
Good luck with finding a solution to the helmet issue.

Melbourne looked at it, and failed.

You might also consider this:

"Head lice can live two days away from a host and are endemic in the western world, especially among children. Fungal scalp infections ("tinea capitis") spread by contact. They are usually caused by fungi of the genera Microsporum and Trichophyton. They may be serious ("kerion") and can result in hair loss (alopecia) or even major skin loss. Then there are the less tangible but real fears people have about not wanting to wear an item of second hand clothing, especially one that has not been washed. Helmets left for days exposed to the elements could grow mould, especially in humid climates.

Just as important, City Bike schemes are the most successful if they are able to capture impromptu journeys on demand, with no pre-planning and the minimum of fuss for the client. The need to carry a helmet around just in case you will want to hire a bike, or to have to mess about adjusting a hired helmet to fit, would kill off a large part of the market. " can be a bit hysterical at times. But I do know how disgusting it is to put my helmet back on my head on a hot day when I stop for a short break. Now imagine that feeling - but it being someone else's sweat...

The only way to have it work is to have an attendant and booth permanently at each bike pick-up point when the scheme is in operation, who can clean helmets, make sure they aren't damaged and ensure they aren't lost or stolen. Otherwise what are you going to do when you take a rental bike from the rack, but there's no helmet in the pannier? Or the strap is broken? Or it won't fit on your head (a real issue for me; 'one size fits all' helmets don't usually fit on my unusually large head)? Ride illegally, or give up and take a taxi?


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