Hats off to Melbourne Bike Share for adding a new dimension to self -service bike-sharing with self-service bike helmet machines. Since it started in June of this year, Melbourne Bike Share has not been as successful as other bike-sharing programs of comparable size, like Denver, Colorado or Dublin, Ireland. Many attributed the slow growth of this system to Australia’s mandatory helmet laws. With these vending machines, it is now easier to use the program without facing a $150 AU ($150 US) fine if you ride without a helmet. In addition, the 24 hour-a-day system has a new agreement with 7-Elevens in Melbourne to sell helmets to users for $5. According the Victorian Government, the helmets can be recycled to the store for $3 cash back. It is hoped that easy accessibility of helmets will encourage greater use of the system.
In other Australian helmet news, there is strong movement to exempt mandatory helmet use for certain types of riding. Over the summer, Sue Abbott won her case in an Australian court not to have to wear a helmet to do her errands in New South Wales. According to bikerumor this could be the start of a “U turn in the Australian helmet law." This would make spontaneous bike-sharing even easier. More Australian news on The Bike-sharing Blog to come.image: Alta Bicycle ShareRussell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org