The e-bikes travel at up to 25km/h and come with helmets and built in cable locks, so they can be safely secured to bike hoops.
The bike will cost $1 to unlock. The cost of riding the bike per minute is yet to be announced but is expected to be 30 cents.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding struck with the councils, the e-bikes will be gradually introduced, unlike the estimated 3000 oBikes that were dumped on Melbourne’s streets in 2017 virtually overnight, without the permission of local councils.
The mayors now launching the Jump scheme say that geo-fencing technology will show where each bike is parked.
Cyclists trying to park the bikes in undesirable locations will receive a notification on the Uber app and will be fined $15 if they ignore this. These fines will not be enforced by councils.
Jump executives also argue that the 30-kilogram bikes are high-tech and expensive, so it is in their interest to ensure they are not ruined.
Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp said the new scheme would be nothing like the failed share bike schemes of the past.
“Share bike schemes are widely used around the world without the anti-social behaviour experienced previously in Melbourne,” Cr Capp said.
“We believe locals and visitors will work with Jump and our councils to make this a success.”
However the RACV said an overarching, consistent set of rules were needed for bike share schemes, to ensure that different councils did not enter conflicting agreements with dockless bike operators.
“We need a more consistent framework,” said Stuart Outhred, the club’s senior planner in mobility futures.
“RACV wants to see the state and local councils working together to properly implement these share schemes to alleviate rider confusion and ensure a consistent standard in its operation across the state.”
The agreement between Jump and the councils outlined parking guidelines, which state that footpaths must be kept clear, bikes parked a minimum 1.5 metres from properties and the cable lock used to securely park the bike.
The e-bikes will be serviced and maintained by Good Cycles, a Melbourne-based social enterprise. Those vouching for the scheme’s success say that having a local operator running the bikes will make them easier to track and service.
Jump has reportedly deployed more than 14,000 bikes in 30 cities and is likely to enter other Australian cities over the next 12 months.
However, the scheme’s rollout has faced setbacks overseas. Last year, the bikes were pulled from four US cities in the wake of rising concerns that shared bikes and scooters were creating clutter and causing public safety concerns, leading to beefed up regulations.
Port Phillip and Moreland councils have joined the RACV in calling on the state government to legalise electric-powered scooters.
Port Phillip council voted to support an e-scooter trial over the summer period but has not been able to go ahead with it due to regulatory barriers.
Timna Jacks is Transport Reporter at The Age