The City of Vancouver revealed more about its much vaunted bike share service.
But there are still some questions.
We do know city taxpayers will be on the hook for at least five million dollars for the first five years.
What we still don’t know is how much it’s going to cost to ride one of these share bikes.
A quick check of the bikes themselves at a press conference today shows there is an option to tap in and out.
But the City’s engineering GM, Jerry Dobrovolney says it’s still not a sure thing the bikes will take Compass Cards.
“One of the major considerations that TransLink had when they launched the Compass Card was that that technology was adaptable and available to others, so that others could piggyback accounts onto their Compass Card. Technically, it’s feasible, and those are a future discussion.”
Mandatory helmet laws have seen a similar bike share service in Melbourne flounder with less than 70 trips reportedly being made a day.
The helmets in Vancouver will come with a daily cleaning service, but whether or not people want to wear the same helmet previously worn by someone else, remains to be seen.
Josh Squires, CEO of Cyclehop, the company providing the service, says he does have a solution to that.
“We will be offering liners in the bike baskets as well, that will be free for people to use, if they want that level of hygiene.”
The bikes are expected to hit the streets, and the cycle lanes, this June.
But not everyone is convinced. Christ Bruntlett who writes on urban and cycling issues for Modacity says the helmet rule could still cause big problems for the system.
“Based on what we’ve seen from other cities the helmet barrier ha been something that reduced ridership levels as well as increasing the startup and maintenance costs and really limiting the system’s ability to grow and function.”
Bruntlett says the helmet requirement will put extra stress on the system, while doing little to protect riders. He says he imagines many won’t wear the helmets, and he says cities which have exempted bike share systems from the requirement have seen no difference in head injuries than the few that do adhere to a similar law.