Vancouver bike rental companies are reacting to one-day pricing for the city’s new bike share program, and they’re not happy.
Mobi is now selling single day passes for $7.50, which allow unlimited 30-minute rides.
Brian Vetter with Spokes Bicycle Rentals says that’s not fair play on the part of the city, with the day pass prices coming in at only slightly more than he charges.
“The prices are one thing, but the philosophy behind it is another thing. You know, if you do the math I think we probably come in cheaper at an hour and a half than they are, it just goes against the direction they said they wanted to go with, and that was to not go after the tourist market.”
Vetter says the placement of bike share stations, including popular tourist areas, also puts rental shops like his at a disadvantage.
“We’re not on every street corner. Or we can’t be on every street corner. So we don’t have the luxury of the convenience to the hotels or the business community downtown.”
Vetter says he’s been doing good business this summer, but worries about the impact next year when the program is in full swing.
Meanwhile Jens Von Bergmann with Mountain Math Software has been crunching the numbers, and says each Mobi bike is getting about three rides a day.
He says that stacks up well to other cities.
“Seattle, their bikes are getting on average less than one ride a day. Boston and D.C., they’re getting three to five rides a day, so that’s considered pretty good for North American standards. Taipei in Taiwan, they get about 11.5 a day. That, I don’t think in North America is matched in any way.”
Von Bergmann says the most popular bike station is where Ontario Street meets the seawall, and the least popular is outside City Hall.
He says he’s only working with four days of data so far, but plans to build on it as he keeps his interactive map live indefinitely.