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Adelaide's free City Bike program reports a surge in popularity

Jim Fischer's picture
Adelaide's free City Bike program statistics. Cycle Traveller

Adelaide City Council and Bike SA's free Adelaide City Bike program has experienced a surge in popularity in the first half of this year, with overseas tourists found to be the biggest users of the cycling initiative.

“It would appear that everyone is using one these days!” Bike SA said. “Adelaide's free City Bikes have seen record hires this year as locals, interstate and international visitors flock to the scheme.”

Almost 10,000 separate hires of the free bicycles were made between January and May this year, up 46% from the same period last year, figures from the program's mid-year review showed. There were 2,614 hires made in March alone, a record month for the program. More than 110,000 hires have been logged since the program started in 2005.

The popularity of the free bikes has grown alongside a rise in the number of bikes and access locations. There are currently 220 city bikes available for hire from 19 locations across Adelaide, compared with just 20 bikes and one pick-up location back at the start of the program in 2005.

The program has proved to be hugely popular with overseas visitors, who accounted for 59% of all hires in the first five months of this year. South Australians made up 27% of users and interstate visitors accounted for 14%.

The figures confirm the important role bicycles play in tourism and the ability of easy bike access to enhance a tourist's experience.

Bike SA says cyclists using the program burnt 7.6 million calories over the five-month period, equivalent to 18,500 iced coffees. There were more than 33,000 hours put in on the pedals, with the average hire time at 3.5 hours, saving 243,625kg of CO2 emissions.

The increasing popularly of the Adelaide City Bike program has coincided with, and perhaps contributed to, an 88% increase in bicycle commutes in the city between 2003 and 2012.

The bikes are free to use, however, photo ID must been shown when picking one up.

More information about the free city bikes is available on the Bike SA website.

Image: Adelaide City Bike Statistics. Source: Bike SA

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