Girona is a small city in northern Catalonia. It has a population of 96,000 people, which is just a little larger than Palmerston North.
There’s two lessons we can learn from Catalonia. The first is that bike share works in a small city like Girona. Girona’s system has grown to 160 bicycles available at 10 stations. This could (and should) translate into success for cities like Dunedin, Palmerston North or even the Hutt.
The second lesson is that there is a market for short-term automated secure bicycle parking. See the Bicibox.
They’ve set some up in Barcelona. An annual subscription means that you can use a secure locker for 12 hours without charge, then a small charge ensues. A smartcard gives access to a locker.
I’d be happy to pay a couple dollars each time I used one myself. $2 for all day secure bike parking at the train station sounds pretty good to me.
With so much talk of minimum parking requirements in Auckland lately it might be a good time to suggest that commercial developments in New Zealand should have minimum requirements for casual and secure bike parking.
Imagine a Hop-like Card that lets you get on trains, ferries, buses, trams and urban aerial gondolas, and then lets you ride bike share bikes and lets you securely park your bike which you can recharge with funds online, and the system tells you when the next bus is coming along, where the available bikes are, and where the available secure bike lockers are. It would be great for a national system that did all that.
Also imagine a little transceiver in every car that makes toll payments every time it goes on a motorway to help fund it all.
It’s time for some linked up thinking on transport. Auckland still doesn’t even have transfer fares. Wellington’s ticketing is a mess of train tickets, Snapper cards and Newlands-Mana cards. It’s time to start copying world’s best practice when it comes to transport networks, instead of plodding along ineptly like we’ve always done.