Image description: five people ride bikes on a suburban road during the day. 

 

By Courtney Withers

 

On the seventeenth of February this year, UWA introduced one of their more interesting initiatives on campus; a bike- and car-share mobility service called Whoosh.

 

Yep, you read that right. Whoosh.

 

The new service introduced is said to make “getting around, between and off our UWA campuses even easier and more enjoyable”(see flyer*), with e-bikes, bikes rides and car share services available for use around campus.

 

To initiate the service, Whoosh are also offering free e-bike and bike rides around campus between the seventeenth and twenty-eight of February.

 

There are six mobility hubs around campus for students to hire bikes and e-bikes from, as well as from the Nedlands campus and from QEII Hospital.

 

Now, I can’t be the only person who is wondering what the hell an e-bike is. An e-bike is a bike with an integrated electric motor that can be rented out at any of the mobility hubs by scanning a QR code. Pretty nifty, right?

 

Hiring and Whooshing around on campus on an e-bike will cost you $3.00 for fifteen minutes, and $0.15c per minute thereafter.

 

The maximum amount of time the e-bike can be rented out for is twenty-four hours, which you probably don’t want to do, unless you’re willing to pay $216.75 for your whooshing experience.

 

The mobility hubs accept credit and debit cards, and the e-bikes come with helmets to wear, located in the e-bike basket.

 

Once you’ve created your account and scanned the QR code for your respective e-bike, according to the Whoosh website (https://www.gowhoosh.com.au/e-bikes.html), you have 15 seconds to pull the e-bike out of the dock before it locks again. Then you’re free to put your helmet on and whoosh around campus!

 

Returning the e-bike is pretty similar, in that you have to align the wheels of the e-bike and push it into the locking dock, until you hear a distinctive locking sound.

 

Hiring a regular bike around campus is a little cheaper, at $2.00 for the first fifteen minutes and $0.10c per minute thereafter, but must be paid directly to the station kiosk using a credit or debit card.

 

The car-share feature of Whoosh works a little differently to the bike and e-bike renting, in that you are re-directed to a website called ‘Flexicar’ that allows you to rent cars for periods of time that are located in various places around Perth.

 

Overall, I think this is a pretty interesting initiative for UWA to introduce, and I’m curious to see how students will use and find this service.

 

I’ve chatted with a few UWA students about their thoughts about Whoosh on campus and what they think about the new initiative.

 

Regular uni cyclist, Campbell Williamson, thinks the Whoosh initiative is a great idea for UWA.

 

“It seems pretty reasonably priced and could be really helpful to get from Reid to QEII in a pinch,” Cam said.

 

UWA student Eve Miller also thinks the initiative could be a good move for UWA and will make commuting between the Nedlands campus and the Business School a lot easier.

 

“My exchange university had a similar concept and they made life much easier when you were rushing to get to class on time,” Eve said.

 

“I think I’ll definitely be using them when the bus is late and I’m rushing to get to a lab.”

 

To find out more about the service at UWA, head to gowhoosh.com.au.

 

Happy whooshing!

 

*https://www.cm.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/3444530/whoosh_a4_flyer_3001-2.pdf

 

Courtney has just realised how many times she’s written ‘e-bike’ and ‘whoosh’ in this article. It’s a lot — she’s all whooshed out.

 

Image courtesy of Brett Sayles