On my recent trip to China one thing stood out to me, In cities that had more population than Australia congestion was low due to bikes being utilized. All types of bike but the bike share industry stands out in China because they have bikes everywhere.
These bikes in the instances that I saw where in good condition, never “pranked parked”, never laying in gardens or sticking out of ponds. It’s very contrasted with how bike share is treated in Melbourne, a disposable toy in which seemingly no one respects and belongs at the bottom of the Yarra river.
Is it an issue of disrespect, hooligans playing amuck with oBikes? Just the Australian “culture” coming to light in how we treat public property. Because I know in China their citizens don’t get drunk and disorderly, they don’t do coward punches, no home invasions and their driving is so far above ours it isn’t funny.
Culture, defines how one is and how they act. How Melbournians acted with bike share was childish and for a global organization that had focus on being green and eco-friendly to be made a joke out of and be forced to pack up and leave is sad.
From the council and government view it doesn’t set a good example for Melbourne on the international stage, Many other big cities have bike share operating smoothly and without the bikes being taken as a joke or landfill. Behavior is hard to change especially if you let it off time and time again.
I felt safer in a suburban Chinese supermarket with everyone staring at me than i would at a Coles in outer Melbourne, It comes down to ramification, Yes the government is very tight on its Citizens in China, but I could easily make the case for the government here being too loose on its people. Allowing for bike share to get tossed around and made a joke of is just one issue.
As for now oBike is out of Melbourne and it doesn’t leave much confidence for a replacement to come in.