By Carla Penman
If OnzO dumps 60 more of its bikes on the streets - let alone the 900 more it has arriving this month - it could lose its licence to operate in Auckland.
660 bikes are all that the bike-share company is allowed under its current trial licence which ends on February 28. OnzO is yet to reapply to have more bikes on the go beyond that.
Last week, OnzO told the Herald Focus it also had a further shipment of 600 bikes arriving in late March.
Jacqui Wilkinson, who's been in the bike-rental business for more than a decade, thinks OnzO has already breached its licence.
"We're aware, in fact, on OnzO's Facebook page they've even admitted the helmets are going missing from the bikes and they've pleaded with the users to actually bring back the helmets," she says.
"And that actually breaches the code of compliance but we don't see any commentary from Auckland Transport or the council about that."
She's worried that if things continue to go amiss, Auckland will quickly start to resemble China.
"If this scheme or any future schemes go bankrupt, we're quite curious to know who will actually pay for the cleanup of the bicycles, because if what happens in China happens in Auckland, what we will find is that we will have thousands of bicycles left on the streets with no one to pick them up ... so that will come back to the ratepayer and the taxpayer."
The code that OnzO must abide by states that damaged bikes or bikes parked irresponsibly will need to be removed by the operator within 12 hours of being reported or risk paying the council a $371 fine.
OnzO insists its staff of nine is checking its bikes are up to scratch 24-7 - Wilkinson however, thinks it will be having trouble finding them as the bikes' GPS units are too easy to remove.
"There have been quite a few incidences where users have actually known how to pry these out and dispose of them, which means the bikes are being stolen but the owners of the scheme aren't aware of this."
Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson thinks Auckland Transport and Auckland Council are setting up OnzO and other bike-share schemes to fail.
"There's no planning for it, there's no systems in place for it, there's no quality control. They're just turning up all over town with more to come."
Another bike-share company, ReddyGo, is awaiting the green light from the council to add its own contribution of 640 bikes to Auckland's streets.