Councils call for dockless bike sharing regulations

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has requested that the NSW State Government take responsibility for regulating dockless bike sharing.

In a letter to state Transport Minister Andrew Constance, Cr Moore called for the establishment of a working group with state authorities, local councils and bike share operators to manage the industry.

Bike sharing has grown rapidly in the past two years, with a fifth operator launching in Sydney earlier this month. However, there have been numerous complaints about bikes being vandalised or dumped.

Cr Moore said a key stakeholder working group was appropriate given the spread of dockless bicycles across council boundaries and State Government-owned land.

“It requires a coordinated state-led approach that is agile and responsive if it is to be successful for our city,” Cr Moore wrote.

The group could investigate a memorandum of understanding, permits, fees or regulation, address issues such as vandalism, and agree on minimum standards and performance for operators, she said.

A Transport for NSW (TNSW) spokesman said the authority was working with councils to establish frameworks for the safe and effective operation of bike share programs.

The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils held a forum with TNSW, council and bike share company representatives last month to discuss how the issue might be better managed.

The forum agreed operational guidelines needed to be developed around user and public safety, responsibility for unsafely parked or vandalised bikes, community education, and building an economically sustainable industry.

And six inner-city council mayors agreed at a meeting on 28 November to provide new guidelines for bike share operators “as soon as possible”.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, who convened the meeting, said the six councils had “all agreed that we want mass bike share to work.”

“However, the current haphazard dispersal of bikes on local streets can’t go on.”

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