World

Chinese bike-share culture set to roll into Sydney

SYDNEYSIDERS are getting ready to say goodbye to their transport woes next month, when the harbour city's first dockless bike-share venture is set to launch.

ReddyGo, a Sydney venture backed by China's Bluegogo, will bring thousands of bikes over the coming months that can be unlocked by users with a smartphone app and cost A$1.99 Australian dollars (US$1.48) for 30 minutes.

"Dockless bike share has the potential to transform travel in our city," a ReddyGo spokesperson told Fairfax Media.

"The first 160 bikes will ship from China on Monday, but the plan is to put 6000 bikes on greater Sydney's streets within six months."

Founder Donald Tang, who has lived in Sydney for 12 years, came up with the idea after the frustration of continually being late, the University of Technology Sydney graduate said.

Inspired by a former classmate back in Anhui province, who was listed by Forbes Magazine's as one of China's "elite entrepreneurs under 30."

ReddyGo bikes will be supplied by Binsen Tang's Bluegogo, which is China's third largest bike-sharing business.

His company Elex-Tech, a mobile gaming venture with has 50 million users, will also be involved in building the app for ReddyGo.

But like China, where competition is fierce, the Australian market may also quickly begin to heat up.

In the city of Melbourne a company called Obike is already in operation and during September, Sydney University will launch a rival bike-share scheme called Airbike.

Another potential problem for the Virgining two-wheel venture, is that unlike China, Australia have strict helmet laws.

This means ReddyGo bikes will come with a helmet and could easily become a target of thieves.

But the Sydneysider believes he may have already solved that problem, "we will be happy if any user steals them, because there is a big logo on those helmets... it will be free marketing," Tang said.

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