BYKKO founder named national innovation winner14/12/2021
E-Bike share and other shared e-mobility options are having a transformative impact on cities by enhancing multi-modal transport, increasing transportation accessibility, and ultimately reducing both car ownership and car trips. Replacing a significant portion of car trips with active travel delivers health and economic benefits to any city, and has a positive impact on our environment.
Removing one private car can reduce 2.5 tonnes of CO2 – about one-fourth of the average yearly emissions (9.2 tonnes) contributed by each person in developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Source: IPCC Climate Report (2018)
Achieving global net zero targets and building a healthier and more sustainable future is a challenge that could be achieved only if we collectively work together to reduce our carbon footprint. Going car-free has an immediate impact however it is not an easy action for an individual to take in a car-centric built environment.
At BYKKO, we tackle one of the biggest challenges – Australia’s love for cars and finding the perfect car parking space – with an electric bike or a personal mobility device, in a sustainable way.
Partnering with Newcastle
Newcastle, NSW prides itself as a smart city and was an early adopter of BYKKO’s e-bike share system at a time when not even Paris, London or New York had public e-bike sharing programs.
In an Australian first, the BYKKO pilot was established in May 2018 as part of the Transport for NSW On Demand Public Transport program to deliver a 100 e-bike fleet with 19 docking stations and 156 docking terminals.
In partnership with Transport for NSW and Newcastle City Council, the electric bike share project was designed to make it easier for residents and visitors to move around the city and as another step towards the introduction of a multi-modal transport system for Newcastle.
Following a successful trial phase, the program was extended under 100% commercial ownership and it continues to operate and grow in popularity to date.
Newcastle is today featured on the Bike-Sharing World Map.
Alignment with local strategies
The On Demand Transport program was launched to identify and pilot creative new ways for people to reach their destinations quickly, safely, easily, efficiently, at a time that suits them.
The overarching objective of the NSW Government’s On Demand Transport Pilot Program is to improve our understanding of how different models could improve customer outcomes with data from each pilot to be used to inform improvements across the entire network.
There are hundreds of cities worldwide with populations similar to Newcastle’s where bike share schemes have reduced car dependency.
Australia’s hot climate, distances and hills can be mitigated against with a system giving users the choice of a high-quality electric assist bike. Electric assistance combats the problems of heat, distance and hills that are a deterrent to cycling in Australia. It makes cycling more appealing to people who, because they are old, unfit, out of the habit of cycling, or believe they are incapable of riding a bike unassisted.
Around commercial streets in car centric cities more than half of all traffic can be circling the block in search of a parking space. Every patron of bike share is one less person contributing to that problem.
Our early mapping of Newcastle showed cyclists are unlikely to be adding to congestion on busy streets, due to the wealth of parallel side streets in this fine grain permeable city.
The Newcastle Cycling Plan 2020 states that 78% of all weekday trips are by private vehicles, with an average trip of less than 8km. Our e-bike scheme has been positioned in the Newcastle community as a viable alternative to these short trips. Our e-bikes have a range of 70km making them a fantastic alternative for short trips with the city centre and surrounding suburbs.
The key journeys targeted:
- first/last mile – BYKKO e-bike share has become an integral part of the multi-modal transport network in Newcastle
- local trips that are not well-serviced by public transport – the e-bike share public network is a mean of active transport from Newcastle West to Newcastle East and Bar Beach (an active triangle) currently very poorly served by public transport (bus route with very low frequency and patronage)
- poor off-peak services – BYKKO provides 24/7 transport solutions when traditional transport options are infrequent and unreliable
- suboptimal end-to-end journeys – it connects denser residential suburbs such as Newcastle West, the Junction, Merewether with CBD
- COVID disruption to transport – BYKKO bikes were chosen as a safer option than other forms of public transport around the city and easily usable while keeping to social distance rules
The scheme also contributed to achieving actions in the City of Newcastle Smart City Strategy including:
- Action 2.3: Support bikeshare networks, including e-bikes, through strategic planning of infrastructure and network facilities.
- Action 3.2: Develop a plan for the transition of Council’s fleet towards electric vehicles, including e-bikes for council staff to use for short city centre work-related trips.
Transferability of the work to other jurisdictions
Since we launched our first e-bike share public program in Newcastle in 2018, the number of registered users increased by 5000% in Newcastle only. In 2021, our usage per bike increased by more than 220% compared to our first year of operations, despite the COVID impact.
From one small network in Newcastle, our e-bike share systems are now available in Canberra, Sydney, Perth, Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast, Cottesloe.
We have a lot of “firsts” in our portfolio – first public e-bike share program in Australia, first residential bike share program and very strong partners including NSW Government – Transport for NSW, City of Newcastle, City of Parramatta, Town of Cottesloe WA.
We work with large residential developers keen to provide sustainable transport options to their residents including the Art Group urban developments and Ginninderry, the first 6-star Green Stars development in ACT.
Growth in the tourism sector continues with four- and five-star hotels wanting to provide sustainable travel choices for their guests including Veriu Hotels Group (NSW), Atlantis Marcoola (QLD) and Joondalup Resort (WA) as well as the NRMA Holiday Parks from Umina Beach (NSW) up to the beautiful Airlie Beach (QLD).
How It Works
BYKKO offers turnkey solutions for electric bike sharing and e-mobility hubs with one point of contact across network design, technology deployment, fleet management, and support services.
We work with cities and stakeholders in implementing successful e- bike share systems with fast charging infrastructure, starting with low-cost feasibility studies that provide succinct and focused reports. We know how to analyse where bike share has worked, where it can’t, and where, even on a limited scale, it can be beneficial. We are also ready to monitor the impacts of these systems.
Contact our in-house team of experts to learn how to build together a more sustainable transport future here.