oBike could be state issue

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has indicated the City of Melbourne has limited power to regulate oBike and may ask the state government to intervene.

When asked about his tolerance level on oBike, Cr Doyle said state government regulation might be needed.

“If we are not happy after a reasonable period of time, then we need to ask the state government for regulatory change in order to forcibly remove those bikes,” he said.

In October, the Cities of Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with oBike’s operator, specifying guidelines for the company to better manage its dockless bikes such as removing damaged bikes or bikes blocking footpaths.

Council has the power to confiscate bikes found to be non-compliant.  But Cr Doyle said, despite the MOU, clutter caused by bikes showed only limited improvement.

“We’ve signed the MOU and all I can say is that their compliance seem to be better in the City of Melbourne. Nevertheless, it’s still not ideal,” he said.

“At the moment we are impounding fewer because they are breaching the MOU – less than they were – and they are redeeming them, which was not the case in the first month.”

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