Spark brings free public bike-share system to Christchurch

Spark is teaming up with local resident Rob Henderson, to bring a free public bike-share system to Christchurch this June.

In a media release Spark says that following in the tyre treads of some of the world’s most dynamic cities, the free Spark Bike-share system will link key sites within the Christchurch CBD – allowing people to move easily between businesses and local attractions.

Spark is getting behind a two-year pilot for the project, which will see Spark Bike stations set up at Victoria Street, Gloucester Street, Re:START Mall, Tuam Street and Worcester Blvd.

Last year, Henderson launched a crowd-funding initiative to kick-start the project and received overwhelming support from the Christchurch community.

"Christchurch’s naturally flat landscape combined with the chance for innovation as we rebuild, was what gave us the idea for a bike sharing system here. Last year we crowd-funded to raise the $45,000 required to implement it – and we were blown away by the level of support from local businesses and the public.

“We're thrilled that Spark has generously come to the party to cover the daily operation of the bikes, and to make the bike-share system a reality."

All Spark Bike trips under 30 minutes will be free – with the stations set up throughout the city to allow for a short commute between docking points.

Spark CEO for home, mobile and business, Chris Quin, says access to free bikes in the city centre will help to support the rejuvenation of Christchurch by drawing more visitors to the CBD.

“Bike share systems operate in some of the most vibrant cities in the world, where they play an integral part of a city’s public transport mix. When Rob came to us with a similar idea for Christchurch, we couldn’t wait to get behind him.”

“When you look at some of the amazing change happening around the city centre, what better way for people to experience this, and to support local businesses, than through a world-class free bike sharing scheme.”

Quin says the project embodies the company’s “Never Stop Starting” philosophy and will benefit both residents and visitors to the area.

Using a Spark Bike will be as easy as arriving at a Spark Bike Station, logging in after having pre-registered online, and picking up a bike. There will be a one-off $4 registration fee for first-time users and a $4 per hour charge for trips over 30 minutes.

Each Spark Bike docking station will also include a map of the surrounding area – directing cyclists to the city’s local attractions and free Spark Wi-Fi hotspots.

Each Spark Bike will come complete with its own safety helmet and combination lock. The Christchurch Bike Share Project has also gratefully received support from Aecom, SLI Systems, The Press, Countrywide Property Trust, and C. Lund and Son Ltd.

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