07/05/2013 - 07:04

London solution for Perth congestion

07/05/2013 - 07:04

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I have just returned from holidays in Europe and among the many things I noticed was the rows of bicycles available for hire in central London. They were, to me, a noticeably new addition to city.

I have just returned from holidays in Europe and among the many things I noticed was the rows of bicycles available for hire in central London. They were, to me, a noticeably new addition to city.

At first I thought they were hire bikes for tourists, but further research revealed they are really for Londoners to use to complete their daily commute to work, presumably after travelling in via train. They are colloquially called Boris Bikes after London’s colourful lord mayor Boris Johnson, who introduced them.

From all reports they are very popular, which is remarkable given London’s weather is less than cycle-friendly. Of course, people use them more in better weather, as the statistics showed during the Europe’s recent lengthy winter – a climactic aberration that had, thankfully, abated by the time I arrived to enjoy the Aussie dollar’s strong buying power.

Like all public transport, the system is now facing criticism borne of popularity – it seems there are not enough bikes or convenient docking stations. My view is there has to be a price-based answer.

Given the weather and rising train usage in Perth, I would love to see such a scheme here – with a price that was cost-neutral to the taxpayer, of course. That might be a world first in first-world public transport.  

 

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