Ara Christchurch bike share goes live

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13 Jun 2017

Ara students can get around Christchurch on free bikes from today.

A new bike share scheme at Ara Institute of Canterbury will give Ara students and staff free access to bikes for up to four hours at a time from Tuesday 13 June.

As part of its commitment to sustainable travel, Ara has joined a one-year pilot bike share scheme with global bike share provider NextBike, through Christchurch-based Cycle Solutions. Ara has installed 10 bikes at the City Campus Christchurch outside the busy Rakaia Centre and Café X.

“We anticipate that students and staff will use the bikes to go to meetings around town or nip down to the shops or local cafes for lunch. They can avoid car parking hassles and if they arrived at campus by bus or carpool then there is a practical option for transport around town,” Ara Sustainability Manager Shaun Bowler said.  

NextBike provides more than 35,000 bikes in 23 countries, soon to include the world’s most extensive bike sharing system in Berlin with 700 stations and 5000 bikes. Bike share is designed to complement public transport systems.

The bikes are NextBike’s comfortable and low maintenance ‘classics’, which come with a helmet, basket and bike lock. The chain guard and mud-guards mean that the bike can be ridden in everyday clothes no matter how wet the roads are.

Registration is easy using an Ara staff or student email address or a credit card, as the system is controlled by web based management software. Staff and students can use bikes by downloading the NextBike mobile app, or using the NextBike website.

Three of the bikes will later be relocated to Otautahi House student accommodation for use by residents there. Ara will consider extending the scheme to the Health Research and Education Facility so that staff and students can commute between the new Health Precinct and the campus on Madras Street.

Cycle Solutions Limited have provided a similar service to Campus Village Living Ltd at the University of Canterbury for four years. Christchurch has its own bike share scheme however, for the time being the Ara scheme remains separate and the Ara bikes need to be returned to the Ara stands.

Read more: Sustainability at Ara

Sign me up: Next Bike website