But Auckland’s geographical failures haven’t deterred Christchurch’s Rob Henderson from having a crack at getting bike sharing moving in his cycle-friendly city.  

“The basic idea is that anybody can grab a bike from one station and then take it for a short journey across town and return it to any other station,” he explains.

It’s not supposed to involve anyone taking a bike for an entire day. Rob sees bike sharing not as a replacement for cars or public transport, but rather as the missing piece of the getting-around-efficiently puzzle.

“For short trips across the city, bike sharing is attractive. It’s a lot quicker to just grab a bike from out the front of your building than it is to get the car out of the car park and then try to find a park at the other end...”

Rob is taking a long-term approach to his bike sharing vision, but hopes to have a public rollout of the system in the next year or so.

For now he has set up bike sharing stations for various organizations around Christchurch, including the University of Canterbury, and, most encouragingly, the city council.

“The council is installing the system for staff as a demo for the city, to try it out,” he says. “I hope that once the council’s scheme is off the ground and people start seeing it and saying ‘I’d like that,’ things will move a lot quicker.”

Reported for our AA Directions Summer 2013 issue

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