Following in the footsteps of Montreal, Paris, London, Copenhagen and Melbourne, Vancouver is gearing-up to launch a bike-share rental program in 2011. Benefitting tourists and locals alike, this program will only add to Vancouver’s lifestyle-driven culture and offer an alternate way to navigate the seaside city’s breathtaking sights and world-renown tastes.
With over 400km of bike lanes and routes extending throughout the city, the yet-to-be-named bike-hire network will undoubtedly make the city that much healthier, that much greener and that much more accessible. And who knows, maybe the bikes—or helmets—will even come with built-in umbrellas to protect against sun and rain. Time will tell.
2000 bikes are planned and will likely be developed for Vancouver’s climate, geography and rider demographics.
200 stations will receive incoming and outgoing bikes in the following Vancouver neighborhoods: Mt. Pleasant, Kits, Fairview and Downtown, with suspected docking stations in Commercial Drive and UBC.
Fees will be $78/year, plus an extra cost for trips lasting longer than half an hour. Borrowing wisdom from other cities with successful bike-sharing programs, a $5 day-use fee is highly probable.
Don’t plan on having a pouffy hair-day when riding in Vancouver, helmets are required. But don’t fret, your head is more important than your locks. To ensure helmets are worn while using the soon-to-be bike-hire system, according to The Vancouver Sun, the city will lean on Melbourne’s example and offer helmets with yearly memberships, as well as distribute them to hotels and local businesses near the docking stations.