Bicycles are available for hire and are gaining popularity, but no requirements are set on the drop-off location, resulting in the bicycles being vandalised and littering public property in Randwick Council, Melbourne, etc.


The bicycles must be dropped off at safe and secure locations. These locations must follow the following requirements:

  • be a useful pickup location for general public,
  • be well-lit at night,
  • not be susceptible to vandalism,
  • not obstruct pedestrians, vehicles or swimmers way (not in a river, not on a footpath etc) for safety.

The solution also needs to be cheap and efficient.


The location of each bicycle is tracked by the bicycle rent operator using GPS.

Criteria of success

  • cheap: small amount of money invested in the solution.
  • safe: small rate of bicycles vandalism or littering.
  • useful: high rate of bicycles pickup from the place where the previous customer left the bicycle.

Proposed solution

  • Develop a map of safe and useful drop-off locations (can be initially a map of bicycle parking lots).
  • Provide consumers with rewards for leaving the bicycle in the safe locations (for example 10% off the trip cost if the bicycle is left in a safe location).
  • This could be altered to introduce punishment for repeatedly leaving the bicycle in unsafe locations (ban from bike hire for two weeks after the consumer left the bike in unsafe location 3 times repeatedly).
  • Adjust the map of drop-off locations based on the rates of bicycle pickup and vandalism: if the bicycles are rarely vandalised and are frequently picked up from a particular location, increase the ‘safety’ or ‘usefulness’ rank of the drop off location.
  • Provide additional rewards to consumers for leaving the bicycle in highly ranked drop off locations.
  • Provide quick bike removal by the bike rent operator staff if a bike was left in an unsafe location.


Phase 1: encourage moving (or leaving) bikes to (at) existing bike parking lots

  1. Add initial proposed safe and useful locations on a map. (existing bike parking lots and known safe locations based on past usage data)
  2. Provide this data to consumers using the mobile app.
  3. Develop and test a reward scheme for consumers leaving their bike in a safe and useful location. (This may include a reward for taking the bike from an abandoned location to the closest bike lot without taking a long ride.)

Phase 2: rank dropoff locations by safety and usefullness

  1. Rank the locations safety (how quickly the bike gets vandalized or damaged) and usefulness (how quickly someone picks it up and takes it for a ride).
  2. Provide the ranks information to consumers using the mobile app.
  3. Develop and test a reward scheme with the reward depending on the location rank.
  4. Develop a bike pickup scheme involving bike rent operator staff urgently picking up bikes from unsafe locations.


Bicycle thief or vandal may remove GPS tracking from a bicycle, making it difficult to find the bike. The drop off location rank can be adjusted but littering is challenging to address in this case as the bike is no longer tracked.