For a Better Brisbane

Launched: Brisbane CityCycle

It’s official. Brisbane CityCycle is now open.

For just $60.50, you can hop on or off a bicycle anywhere in the CBD and inner city suburbs for an entire year. This is a ridiculously cheap price! And once subscribed, cycling is free if the journey takes under 30 minutes. Riding for an hour is about $2.20, which is competitive against public transport fares for the inner city.

The scheme is a bring-your-own helmet one, which has met with some media criticism. However, this blog views helmets as relatively cheap and easy to buy compared with the costs of buying both a bicycle and a helmet, which is precisely what a non-cyclist would have to do if they wanted to take up cycling and still not break the law. And they would have to carry both a helmet and their own private bicycle around, as opposed to just the helmet with CityCycle.

The CityCycle scheme therefore reduces both the levels of cost and commitment and provides a strong visible cycling presence in the CBD and inner suburbs. This in itself, should usage grow, is likely to force further cycling improvements and cycling prioritisation, at least within the inner city. While the numbers of initial subscriptions might seem modest at about 500 or so people to start with, it is early days. Convincing people that the sign up process is quick and easy will be the key, however.

Will the CityCycle scheme ‘solve’ traffic congestion? This blog believes that while it will encourage more cycling, given the nature of cycling, the free time limit of 30 minutes, and the inner city locations of the service, trips are likely to be new trips with the rest likely to be diversions from walking and public transport. This isn’t necessarily a good or bad- because it gives an extra level of choice to people, is faster than walking and gets people exercising.

The official website of the Brisbane CityCycle scheme is at


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October 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

Posted in Cycling

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2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for highlighting the operating hours. This blog has checked with CityCycle- stations do not loan bikes after 10 pm, but someone with a bike can return it after that time.

    Go Card integration would be a winner! One card, one transport system.


    October 5, 2010 at 11:45 am

  2. I too want this initiative to succeed. I think adding more mobility options is a must for any large city.

    There is some reservation regarding the mandatory helmet laws for adults though. Of the 137 cities in the world that have a city cycle-like scheme only Melb & now Brisbane mandate helmets. This fact is a clear inhibitor on take-up, frequency of use and casual use (by out of towners). And when the claimed benefits unproven the negative consequences of this helmet law for adults will eventually be reviewed.

    Some other areas for consideration:
    Hours of Operation: 5am-10pm use only.
    Age of subscribers: +17yrs.
    Go-Card integration: thousands of people already have a smart card, enable Go-Card as a payment platform and take a massive leap in subscription.


    October 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

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