Bike-sharing service without stations to soon be offered in Victoria

Bike-sharing service without stations to soon be offered in Victoria

A cellphone is used to unlock one of the U-bicycle bikes in its promotional video. Credit: U-bicycle

A bike-sharing service that allows riders to park anywhere is coming to Victoria.

Starting on Sept. 30, U-bicycle will distribute 150 lime-green, GPS enabled bikes throughout the city. This is the first time the China-based company is offering the bikes in North America.

The bikes can be unlocked through an app available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. After downloading the app, cyclists can use it to find a bike. They can then scan a QR code to unlock the bike.

“We could not be more thrilled to launch in Victoria as our first North American location,” U-bicycle North American CEO Grace Min said in a release.

“This is a big step and milestone for U-bicycle as we get ready to disrupt the bike-sharing market across Canada and the United States”.

The cost to ride one of the bikes $1 per 30-minute time block. Once a cyclist is finished, the bike can be parked in any legal area. The bike has self-activating locks.

The company said this is unlike other bike-sharing services, which require riders to return to a designated station. The company will soft launch 20 of the bikes at the National Liveable Cities Forum, a four-day climate change event in Victoria that starts on Sept. 18.

After its full launch on Sept. 30, U-Bicycle said will put another 150 bikes in the city in the future.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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