The City of Vancouver is set to go with a long awaited public bike share service.
It’s taken eight years, and a bidding process that saw a couple of would-be providers fall by the wayside.
But this morning, Engineering Services GM Jerry Dobrovolny announced a five-year agreement for a bike share agreement with the city and CycleHop.
The city is on the hook for $5-million for 1500 bikes for five years. The “smart bikes” are integrated with a key-card system, and will come with a free helmet rental.
Dobrovolny says these bikes won’t be competing with existing hire-bike businesses.
“It’s really set up for a series of one way trips, short trips. The pricing is set up to encourage shorter use, not longer trips.”
The targeted launch for the service is June 15th.
Chris Thibault from Yes Cycle says the city’s bike share service will actually help Vancouver become more of a bicycle-oriented city.
But Thibault says he’s just not sure it will work, saying a similar service ground to a halt in Seattle …
“The feedback from the setup they’ve got now is like ‘meh, we don’t care about it now.'”
“What happens when everybody wants to take a bike down a hill, but they’re never going to want to take it up that hill, so they’re going to end up with 3,000 bikes at one station and two at another?”
CycleHop’s costs to use city space for the bike sharing program will be up to $400,000 a year.
The move comes two years after Vancouver’s last bid for a bike share program fell apart when the potential supplier filed for bankruptcy protection.