Canberra apartments first to get residential e-bike scheme

An apartment block in Canberra has become the first residential development in Australia to get an electric bike share scheme.

Bike share platform BYKKO has partnered with developer Art Group to provide 10 electric share bikes at the On Forbes apartments in Turner. Residents of the apartments will receive a free 12-month subscription to the service.

BYKKO founder and managing director Monica Zarafu said the company used European technology to provide lightweight bikes suitable for a range of fitness levels and abilities. She said international research found that e-bikes encouraged more people to cycle.

“Around the world electric bike share stations are delivering proven benefits, encouraging more healthy and active living and helping people minimise their carbon footprints,” Ms Zarafu said.

Improved property values

She also pointed to research that found bike share schemes could add up to three per cent to property value.

“Developers are starting to see that bike share options can add value to residents in much the same way as pools and gyms.”

The bikes have a range of 50 kilometres on a single charge and speeds of up to 25km/h.

Art Group project director Brett Smith said its was another form of active transport for the city.

“Canberra already has one of the highest cycling rates in the country – but less than three per cent of Canberrans commute to work,” he said. “We hope this trial will be the start of a new movement in Canberra which will encourage
more commuters to embrace active travel, and will contribute to Canberra’s growing reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking city.”

ACT trial succeeds

The ACT government last year introduced an e-bike scheme for public servants.

Recently released results show the scheme has been a big success, clocking up 2500 kilometres of travel.

“E-bikes are easy to use and provide a healthy and sustainable alternative to work cars and taxis for short work trips,” ACT climate change and sustainability minister Shane Rattenbury said.

“The riders still need to pedal but the electric motor makes it easier and ensures they get to their work meeting comfortably and efficiently.”

The government is now considering purchasing more e-bikes for its staff.

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