Bike Commuters Clean Up and Lock Up in Brisbane, Australia

300x300_cycle_centre_ent.jpgFrom the Australian Bicycling Council comes word of a new amenity for bicycling commuters In Brisbane, Australia. Called cycle2city, it provides secure weekday parking and showers for up to 420 members, who will pay between $5 and $7 a day for the privilege of using the facility (that and other figures quoted here are Australian dollars, which are close to even in value with the US dollar these days).

The $7-million bike center in Brisbane's central business district was funded by the Queensland government and the Brisbane City Council, and is operated by a private company. The first of its kind in Australia, it offers swipe-card access and some pretty swank-looking accommodations. The cost of membership is roughly comparable to the local transit fare, depending on what type of ticket one uses.

Local government officials, quoted on OurBrisbane.com, see it as one element in an overall strategy:

State Government and Brisbane City Council have welcomed the centre as part of the battle against traffic congestion. Brisbane City Councillor Jane Prentice said the people of Brisbane now had the perfect reason to ditch the car in favour of more active, healthy and sustainable travel options.

"King George Square Cycle Centre demonstrates our commitment to encouraging people to live a more active, healthy and sustainable lifestyle," said Cr Prentice.

"The more people we get travelling on two wheels or two legs, the more cars we take off the road enabling us to live healthier and greener lifestyles that will contribute to ensuring Brisbane's long-term sustainability."

Transport Minister John Mickel said that, by using the King George Square Cycle Centre, the average commuter could save more than $25 dollars per day.

"The average car commuter can spend up to $33 per day on off-street parking alone when travelling into the CBD," Mr Mickel said.

Think a paid bike commuter facility like this one could fly here in New York, say in Midtown or the Financial District?