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New Zealand rolls out smart mobility network

Sustainability Matters

June 11, 2020

Christchurch has become the first city in New Zealand to launch a secure solution for commuter bikes, e-bikes and scooters with the unveiling of Locky Docks.

Locky Docks offer locals a secure parking and charging solution for conventional bikes, e-bikes or scooters in convenient locations, without the need for a bike lock.

Safe cycle routes are displayed on the Locky Dock screens. The docks are free for users due to revenue from advertising displayed alongside cycle maps and information. Locating Locky Docks near destinations such as cafes, workplaces, supermarkets and public amenities increases convenience and accessibility for people on bikes and makes it part of people’s daily lives.

Launched by Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter, Christchurch is the first location to see the rollout of a planned urban network across New Zealand. Wellington and Auckland are set to launch the program in the spring, with regional rollouts in Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, Nelson and Queenstown planned to follow.

“We’ve hand-picked leading technology and put it together in a new way to create a self-sustaining model — providing smart city infrastructure for healthy transport that’s free to the public, the city and regional councils,” said Cleve Cameron of Big Street Bikers, the social enterprise delivering the infrastructure.

“This brand new electric mobility network is a serious climate solution for Aotearoa.”

The Locky Docks are the first element in the Big Street Biker vision of supporting healthy transport options across the country. In light of current events, the demand for such infrastructure has increased faster than ever.

“Two main barriers to car commuters switching to e-biking are safety and security,” Cameron said.

“The cost of e-bikes is also prohibitive for many. Our model works by first providing free-to-use locking infrastructure in the main metropolitan areas. The digital screens on the docks provide safe bike path maps to complement the service, thanks to Waka Kotahi (NZTA), and Big Street Bikers support this with affordable ways for people to ride-to-own their own e-bike.”

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Jim Harland said, “As part of Waka Kotahi’s work to contribute to safe, healthy and vibrant towns and cities, we’re supporting Big Street Bikers to pilot this model for increasing the convenience and profile of cycling in the city.

“Christchurch City is doing a great job of developing a safe, high-quality cycling network and initiatives like this are another important part of the puzzle. We look forward to seeing this roll out in other parts of the country.”

The bike parking network in Christchurch will be complemented by the first Rechargery, to be located at 228 Tuam Street. This locally owned and operated element, a part of the Aotearoa Biker Co-op, helps to lower barriers to purchasing e-bikes by delivering a ride-to-own model similar to purchasing a mobile phone.

At the Rechargery, locals will be able to take advantage of the ride-to-own scheme, service their e-bike and find out more information. Christchurch residents can sign up to find out more about the scheme at www.bigstreetbikers.co.nz/letsride.

“[Foundation partner] Mercury is passionate about electric transport as it’s one of the biggest ways we can reduce our carbon emissions in New Zealand using our own homegrown, largely renewable electricity. Rolling out Locky Docks across New Zealand will help get even more Kiwis on to e-bikes and e-scooters as a cleaner, cheaper way of getting around,” Mercury CMO Julia Jack said.

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Transportation