Carpooling 2.0: New App Launches to Let Vancouver Commuters Share Rides

Image sourced from sparerides.com

Image sourced from sparerides.com

Tired of waiting in long lines to catch the 99 B-Line bus along Broadway? A new app may be the answer.

A team of Vancouver entrepreneurs has just debuted a new app that takes carpooling into the 21st century.  Called Spare Rides, the iPhone app (Android coming soon) helps connect drivers commuting to work along the Broadway corridor with passengers looking for a lift.

Riders open the app, indicate their destination and then see drivers in the area and ETAs. After tapping to accept a ride, the car’s model and license plate number is shown.

Just a few days after launch, the app already has 400 users and plenty of satisfied drivers and riders, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun. All logistics – including pickup location and destination – are handled inside the app, and transactions are also processed in app, so no money has to change hands.

Sound a little like Uber? The creators of Spare Rides insist that the app fulfills a fundamentally different role. It’s intended for actual commuters driving to and from their job who are looking to offset the cost of the drive by picking up carpoolers. It’s not intended as a way for drivers to earn an extra profit. Continue reading:
Carpooling 2.0: New App Launches to Let Vancouver Commuters Share Rides

Bike Sharing Coming to Vancouver this Summer (for real, this time)

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Bike sharing is at long last coming to Vancouver.

By June 15, 1,000 sharable bikes should be ready to roll on city streets, with 500 more to potentially follow by end of summer. And commuters looking for a cheap and convenient two-wheeled way to zip across town will finally have an option.

It’s all part of a five-year, $5 million agreement just signed by the city with CycleHop Corp., which operates bike share programs in more than a dozen cities around the world.  The snazzy new bikes, supplied by bicycle vendor Smoove, come with a seven-gear grip shift, oversized storage basket and front and rear lights.  They’re also equipped with a “control box” on the handlebars, which will enable riders to pay with smart cards or even their phones, in addition to paying at standard terminals. Helmets will also be provided.

So how much do they cost? Continue reading:
Bike Sharing Coming to Vancouver this Summer (for real, this time)

Vancouver’s English Bay Named One of World’s Top 50 Beaches

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

In the middle of a rainy February, English Bay may not be one of Vancouver’s biggest attractions. In fact, this time of year, you’re likely to find more seagulls than sun worshippers hanging out on the beach.

But that hasn’t stopped the strip of sand from earning a spot on a new list of the 50 best beaches in the world. According to the UK’s The Guardian newspaper, English Bay is the 47th best beach on the planet. It’s sandwiched between Rio de Janeiro’s Arpoador Beach and Durban, South Africa (not bad company!).

Here’s what the writers at The Guardian had to say: “By day, English Beach Bay sands are a mecca for families and volleyball players, but it really comes into its own at dusk. It’s then that Vancouverites stroll in to sit on the huge blanched logs that wash up here and gaze out at the sunsets, glass or guitar in hand. West End’s coffee shops and the iconic Stanley Park are within easy reach, and it’s a prime spot for watching the fireworks on Canada Day (1 July).”  Continue reading:
Vancouver’s English Bay Named One of World’s Top 50 Beaches

Electric Scooter Sharing Coming to Vancouver This Summer

Image sourced from saturnagreen.com

Image sourced from saturnagreen.com

Vancouverites have been waiting years for a comprehensive bike-sharing plan to be implemented across the city. Now it looks like scooter sharing may get here first.

Local company Saturna Green Systems has announced a plan to get approximately 100 shareable electric scooters on Vancouver streets by this summer. The bright orange mopeds are street legal and have a top speed of 45 kilometres per hour – offering an eco-friendly alternative to car-sharing services like Evo and Car2go. Continue reading:
Electric Scooter Sharing Coming to Vancouver This Summer

Urban Beavers Move into Vancouver’s Olympic Village

Photo credit: Cheryl Reynolds | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Cheryl Reynolds | Wikipedia

A pair of furry friends with big tails have decided to call one of downtown Vancouver’s newest and busiest neighbourhoods home.

Two adult beavers have taken up residence in Hinge Park, on the edge of Olympic Village in the Southeast False Creek area. The industrious rodents have even built a full-size beaver lodge in a stream running through the park, complete with mud, twigs and tree trunks.

The beavers have already become mini celebrities in the community. Photographers line up on the seawall along the edge of the stream, hoping for a clear shot. And a new Twitter account, @VancouverBeaver, has been created on behalf of the critters.  Continue reading:
Urban Beavers Move into Vancouver’s Olympic Village

12 New Bike Lanes Proposed for Vancouver

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Vancouver may be getting even more bike friendly over the next five years.

A dozen new bike lanes, including eight in the downtown core, have been proposed as part of a new report scheduled to go before city council this week.

The proposed changes amount to a Christmas wish list for avid bikers in the city. Major additions being considered include a new bike lane across the Granville Street Bridge, a much needed route linking Yaletown and the West End via Drake and Burnaby Streets, a long-awaited bike lane along Commercial Drive and a new “Portside Greenway” to run along Water Street in Gastown, according to reports in the Vancouver Sun and Metro.   Continue reading:
12 New Bike Lanes Proposed for Vancouver

Study shows Vancouver is the safest, most active city for biking in Canada

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

Vancouver is officially on its way to becoming the urban bike capital of Canada.

A new report shows that Vancouverites now make more than 100,000 bike trips per day, tops in all of Canada. We even beat out much larger Toronto, where riders make 96,000 daily trips. In Vancouver, bike trips now account for more than 4 percent of all journeys made by any form of transportation.

The report by the Pembina Institute takes a deep look at Vancouver’s bike infrastructure (as well as cities across Canada), exploring both strengths and weaknesses. It turns out the city has plenty to be proud about when it comes to biking.  Continue reading:
Study shows Vancouver is the safest, most active city for biking in Canada

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