More than 40 oBikes have been fished out of the Yarra River, promoting the ride-sharing company to admit abuse of the bicycles is taking its toll.
Contractors hired by the bike venture hauled 42 cycles from the waterway on Tuesday, which runs through the centre of Melbourne.
Abuse of the scheme is costing the business ‘a fortune’, as their distinctive yellow bikes have been found up trees, dumped on train tracks and even on top of a portaloo.
The issue has stemmed from the fact the bicycles do not have docks, but can be left anywhere once riders are finished with them.
A number of oBikes (pictured) were fished out of the Yarra River in Melbourne on Tuesday
Contractors hired by the bike venture fished 42 cycles from the Victoria waters (pictured)
‘It is costing us a fortune,’ oBike’s head of marketing in Australia, Chethan Rangaswamy, told ABC radio on Wednesday.
The Singaporean-based company has lost up to 15 per cent of its 1250-odd bikes in Melbourne because people have trashed them.
‘When you pick up 42 bikes from the Yarra, obviously it is quite a lot of money,’ Mr Rangaswamy told AAP.
Up to 100 of the company’s 1000 bikes in Sydney have been salvaged, some from trees.
The Singaporean-based business has lost up to 15 per cent of its 1250-odd stock so far
Images of bikes knocked down on the road, tangled up with others, hung in trees and dumped in lakes have been shared on social media
Australia’s attempt at adopting the Chinese model for a public bike-sharing scheme is failing spectacularly with people dumping the bicycles in trees
Despite the popularity of the dockless system in Asian countries, the scheme has not proven successful in Australia
The bikes, which have been banned by councils in Amsterdam and London, are fitted with a GPS enabled lock linked to a rider’s smartphone, meaning users can leave them wherever they want.
Mr Rangaswamy said Melbourne City Council had raised the possibility it could kick the ride-share bikes out of town, but said oBikes was determined to work through its ‘teething issues’.
‘The number of dumped bikes are slightly higher than what we expected but that doesn’t deter our motivation,’ he said.
A number of people have taken to social media to detest the oBikes instead making light of their presence
‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ one person wrote on Twitter
The company expects more people to use the bikes properly as the weather warms up.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has previously labelled the oBikes as ‘clutter’.
An oBike membership costs $69, which acts as a deposit and is completely refundable, plus $1.99 per 30 minutes of riding.
The bikes are fitted with a GPS enabled lock linked to a rider’s smartphone, meaning users can leave them wherever they want
Up to 100 of the company’s 1000 bikes in Sydney have been salvaged, some from trees
The bikes are tracked by GPS, which can be accessed through the company app, allowing customers to better track their usage.
Despite the popularity of the dockless system in Asian countries, including the implementation of over 100,000 bicycles in Chinese cities, the scheme has not proven successful in Australia.
Images of bikes knocked down on the road, tangled up with others, hung in trees and dumped in lakes have been shared on social media.
Residents have labelled the yellow bikes as ‘visual pollution’, and with oBikes found on the roofs of bus stops and sitting on park benches
Australians instead have taken advantage of and abusing the freedom, with damaged and knocked over bicycles sprawled across major cities