Wellington Scoop

110,000 trips in first 6 months – Onzo bikes licence extended till end of next year

News from Wellington City Council
The Wellington City Council has extended the licence for Onzo to continue operating their ‘dockless’ bike hire system in the capital until the end of 2020.

Councillor Sarah Free, Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the popularity of the Onzo bikes for short trips around town shows there is a demand for more transport options.

“Over 110,000 trips were recorded during the six-month trial and the feedback shows that most people use the bikes because they are fast and convenient. The Onzo bikes have increased the access to cycling for many people who might not choose to own a bike.

“We’ve extended the Onzo bike licence to align with the e-scooter trial so we can look at these micro-mobility options together. It’s great to see the large uptake of these bikes as part of changing transport patterns – and that some people are choosing to use an Onzo instead of their car.”

The Council surveyed residents as well as Onzo users to find out what people think about the dockless bike share. While there were some concerns about pedestrian safety, most of the residents surveyed thought people using Onzo bikes were generally safe and responsible riders, and that the scheme should continue.

In the coming weeks, bike numbers will be back to what they were at the start of the trial (200) with another 100 bikes likely to be added later in the year.

The Council will be working closely with Onzo to discourage people from riding on footpaths and improve the availability of cycle helmets as part of the ongoing licence conditions.

“Footpaths remain an area where pedestrians have priority. We are continuing to plan for more separated bike paths and will be looking at whether e-scooters will be able to use these.”

Data from Onzo shows that the areas of constant high use on weekdays and weekends are Wellington train station and Victoria University’s Pipitea campus, where many people start and end their trips. From Monday to Friday, people are starting and ending trips along Featherston Street and the Golden Mile to Kent Terrace. The waterfront is reasonably busy during the week, however more trips are finished along the waterfront and Oriental Parade at weekends.

Onzo’s Wellington Fleet Manager Max Kempthorne says it’s great to see Wellingtonians embracing the bikes so quickly. “We look forward to continuing to offer an easy transport alternative in the capital.”

Council officers are likely to report back on the e-scooter trial in early 2020, and consultation and engagement on a micro-mobility transport policy for shared schemes including bikes would happen in the following 12 months.

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  1. Mark Cubey, 24. June 2019, 15:51

    Big fan of Onzo but really think the Wgtn CC should have required an update of the app to make it MUCH easier to report problems, and also require customer service 0800 to operate on weekends, not just weekdays. [via twitter]

  2. Ellen Blake, 24. June 2019, 16:01

    Where is your survey of a few people published? WCC have not addressed issues of bikes either being ridden or parked on footpaths. Priorities for business and wheels showing through again. Impacts on pedestrians not addressed! Who is measuring the impacts? [via twitter]

  3. Sarah Free, 24. June 2019, 16:03

    Just need to check with staff that I can email you the full report – don’t think that will be an issue. The survey was of over 2000 people, residents’ panel and people who had tried an Onzo. [via twitter]

  4. WCC, 24. June 2019, 16:05

    Pedestrians will remain a priority on our footpaths and we will be working closely with Onzo to discourage people from riding on them and will also continue to plan more separate bike paths. [via twitter]

  5. Alvin, 24. June 2019, 16:20

    How many illegal rides were made on an Onzo bike without a helmet? How many fines were issued by the Police for cyclists not wearing a helmet? Who is liable if a person has a head injury when they were riding an Onzo bike without a helmet?

  6. Anabel, 25. June 2019, 5:55

    The use of the Onzos is not reducing car usage. The majority of the Onzo and e-scooter users would otherwise be walking (or bussing). The other day in Newtown I saw two young women on e-scooters run a pedestrian off the footpath. Definitely safety issues here that have not been risk managed.