I suggested a scheme for this to Melbourne City Council back in 2001 after using bikes in the city of Zug in Switzerland back in the 90s. David Risstrom took up the cause back them but it stalled.
It is surprising how long it can take for simple good ideas to happen here. Since they are only calling for tenders, it appears that the bikes won't actually be available until 2009 or 2010.
To make this really work, we need to make Melbourne more bicycle friendly with:
- Many more Copenhagen lanes
- High quality and safe bicycle transit routes - North South, East West and Orbital
Shared paths can be acceptable for some local and recreational usage, but they are not adequate or safe for significant bicycle transit usage.
The best option would be to put sections of our existing rail and tram networks underground and put linear parks, bike transit routes and some commercial, residential and recreational facilities in their place.