Mobi Magic – Bike Sharing in Vancouver

Photo: Rob Weiss

As a full-fledged member of the Slow Bicycle Movement, I felt somewhat traitorous standing in front of the Mobi by Shaw Go Docking Station. Please understand. Over the years, my bicycle has become my travel companion, my trusted steed, a valued friend. We have covered thousands of kilometres together through rain, snow, sleet, hail and glorious sunshine, battling headwinds and savouring tailwinds. Most definitely our relationship is monogamous. Yet, here I stood, in front of a Mobi Station admiring the sleek fleet of intelligent bikes complete with their cute baskets, blue coloured accents, and built-in bells.

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Mobi Magic – Bike Sharing in Vancouver

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)

Need a Bike? Peer-to-Peer Bike-Sharing Comes to Vancouver

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A screenshot from Spinlister

Uber may not be welcome in Vancouver. But a new service that lets ordinary people rent out their bikes by the day is picking up speed.

Spinlister, a bike-sharing site based in California, is now up and running in Vancouver. The site allows anyone to upload a picture and description of their bike, as well as hourly, daily and weekly prices for rental. Users looking to rent a bike can then browse through the selection and find a ride that fits their needs – from rugged mountain bikes to carbon-fibre racers. A handy interactive map shows which bikes are available and where they can be picked up.

Currently, there are only about 50 bikes listed on the Vancouver site. But overall Spinlister, which started in 2012, features thousands of bikes in dozens of countries around the world. (The most popular city for bike-sharing so far is Brooklyn, with 3,500 bikes featured on the site.) Users of Spinlister are mainly travellers exploring a new city and looking for a fun way to get around on two wheels, according to an interview in the Vancouver SunContinue reading:
Need a Bike? Peer-to-Peer Bike-Sharing Comes to Vancouver

Bike Sharing Still Coming to Vancouver … Maybe

Bay Area Bike Share bicycles. Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious | Wikipedia

Bay Area Bike Share bicycles. Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious | Wikipedia

Shareable bikes may be coming to Vancouver after all.

The city is currently seeking a new partner to launch its long-anticipated bike share scheme. An initial plan, approved in 2013, called for $6 million to be spent to implement a network of 1,500 rental bikes throughout the city. But multiple delays have plagued the initiative.

Most recently, the company that was to provide the city with bikes went bankrupt. Bixi Bikes filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014 and was subsequently bailed out – to the tune of tens of millions of dollars – by the city of Montreal. As a result, Bixi’s partner for the Vancouver launch – a Portland company called Alta Bicycle Share – was unable to get the program rolling in the city.

In the wake of the debacle, Alta has changed its name to Motivate and now manages successful bike-share programs in Toronto, New York and Melbourne. Vancouver, however, is still bike-less – but maybe not for long.   Continue reading:
Bike Sharing Still Coming to Vancouver … Maybe

Vancouver Bike Sharing Program Hits Speed Bump

Photo credit: Alex Pope | Flickr

Photo credit: Alex Pope | Flickr

Vancouver’s bike sharing program has already hit a speed bump – and there aren’t even bikes on the ground yet.

Bixi, the Montreal-based supplier of bikes for the plan, has filed for bankruptcy, according to the Vancouver Sun. Under a a $6-million initiative approved by the city last July, Bixi was to have supplied the city with 1,500 shareable bikes. Rental logistics and back-end support for the plan were to be provided by Bixi’s American partner, Alta.

But Bixi’s bankruptcy filings, initiated after the city of Montreal demanded repayment of a $37-million loan, threaten to put another snag in Vancouver’s bike-sharing dreams. Shareable bikes were originally due to hit the streets in early 2014, but the city had already delayed the launch because Alta and Bixi were unable to provide a solid business plan.

There is good news, however.   Continue reading:
Vancouver Bike Sharing Program Hits Speed Bump

1500 Shareable Bikes Coming to Vancouver: $6 million bike share approved

Bikes similar to these will soon be coming to Vancouver.  Photo credit: adminspotter | Flickr

Bikes similar to these will soon be coming to Vancouver. Photo credit: adminspotter | Flickr

Watch out New York, bike sharing is coming to Vancouver.

On the heels of Manhattan’s new Citi Bike program, Vancouver city council has formally approved a bike sharing plan.  The $6 million initiative will see up to 1,500 brand-new, shareable bikes hitting the streets by 2014.  In addition to its initial investment, the city will also pay $500,000 annually to keep the operation running.

The approval marks the end of a long and sometimes contentious planning process.  The first calls for a Vancouver bike share program began five years ago.  Along the way, pro-bike mayor Gregor Robertson and his staff have had to contend with everything from concerns about helmet laws to the relatively lukewarm reception of bike sharing in other cities.

While Vancouver’s new bike share program doesn’t yet have an official name, some details have already been ironed out. Continue reading:
1500 Shareable Bikes Coming to Vancouver: $6 million bike share approved

Electric Bike Sharing Coming to Vancouver

An example of a bike station.  Photo credit: Bike GT | Flickr

An example of a bike station. Photo credit: Bike GT | Flickr

It was 100 years ago that electric trams first began zipping around Vancouver’s North Shore.

Now, riders are set to harness electricity in a different way – on bikes.

North Vancouver is set to become the site of Canada’s first and only electric bike sharing program, according to the North Shore Outlook.  A new company called North Shore Electric Bikeway plans to make shareable electric bikes available starting in June, using a system similar to the popular car2go ride sharing service.

An initial fleet of five bikes will be stationed out of Lower Lonsdale Avenue’s Cafe for Contemporary Art (140 E. Esplanade).  Riders can opt to pay $500 for an all-you-can-ride annual membership.  Alternately, they can pay a $200 enrolment and be charged each time they use a bike: $.75 for the first half-hour and $1.50 for each subsequent half-hour.

Electric bikes have a small electric motor designed to assist the rider.  They’re especially useful on hilly terrain like the North Shore, whose roads rise steeply along the flanks of the Coast Mountains.

Already, 80 riders have signed on as Electric Bikeway members.  The fleet is expected to grow to 100 bikes  serving 1,000 riders by the end of the summer, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Each bike is outfitted with a GPS transmitter and tracked using the service’s mobile and web app (which doesn’t seem to be available quite yet). Continue reading:
Electric Bike Sharing Coming to Vancouver