A new scheme for bike enthusiasts has hit Melbourne and is called Bike Share and is based on the Montreal BIXI system.
Fifty Bike Share stations to house around 600 shiny new 33kg blue bikes are spread around Melbourne and each station is around 500 metres apart.
The Melbourne bike scheme is run by the RACV and, provided you have a credit card, this system allows riders to subscribe to the system for $50 a year, $8 a week, or for casual users, a daily subscription for $2.50.
After subscribing you get the first 30-minute hire free each trip (incorporated in the fee), and then extra charges every 30-minutes thereafter. Melbourne Bike Share is designed for short trips because, if you consider a trip say lasting more than 10 hours you'll end up with a bill of around $370. Compared to public transport around town, the bike share system can be a little bit cheaper.
The wearing of helmets is mandatory in Victoria so you may need to bring your bike helmet with you. Alternatively, you can purchase a helmet for just $5 at participating 7-Eleven stores or from vending machines at Southern Cross Station and Melbourne University. Return of an undamaged helmet entitles you to a $5 refund. Two helmets per customer applies.