Last weekend, on a gloriously warm summer's Saturday, I had the genuine pleasure of trying the new Urbi bike-share system based in Joondalup!
Urbi is a brand new bike-sharing network in Perth, based around Edith Cowan University's northern campus. To use the bikes you just have to download their app, pay for a daily, weekly, monthly or one-off ride and then you're free to use the bikes to travel between stops within their network. Passes are for 45-minutes at a time, but if you're interested in taking in some sites around Joondalup such as Neil Hawkins' Park, the Joondalup Civic centre or the Joondalup Police Academy, all are within a five-minute ride from the ECU Student Accommodation Urbi station.
As far as safety is concerned, all bikes are equipped with a bell, front and rear brakes, multiple gears and each rider is provided with a helmet for the ride - or I'm sure you can bring your own! The bikes are clean, work well and you have the option of reporting any faults or requesting a different bike, all of which is conducted remotely using the iPhone app. I can't speak for the experience of using the Android app, but once I allowed notifications, the iPhone app reminded me when I had fifteen minutes left to return the bike and utilised a GPS connection in order to help me find my way back to ECU.
This was my first real time exploring Joondalup in any detail. The Civic Centre and Police Academy drive reminded me distinctly of Canberra - and considering the fact that one of the Canberra highlights is riding your bike around Lake Burley Griffin, this whole experience was very reminiscent of my recent trip to the ACT.
As I said before, Urbi's prices range from hourly to monthly prices, from $3 for a single ride (45-minutes) or $10 for an unlimited day, to $40 for a monthly pass. As Urbi is only available in Joondalup at this point your course is limited, however, for Joondalup students or anyone planning a day trip to the northern suburbs to explore, Urbi is a fun, fitness-related challenge that can really broaden your scope of Joondalup.
Also as an Australia Day offer, just for this Friday the 26th of January, if you go to Urbi's website they've posted a code for a free 45-minute test ride on the one day only!
Like I said, I had a really enjoyable time experiencing a part of Perth I'd never properly visited and I'm contemplating taking a friend for another ride on Australia Day! Urbi is a great contribution to the community, the campus and the council and I'd encourage you to give it a try one day soon!