Cyclists heading to downtown Victoria will soon see a secure option for bike storage return — the bike valet.
First launched during the summer of 2022, the bike valet is a free and secure option operated by Better Environmentally Sound Transportation and Capital Bike for cyclists to store their bicycles.
📢 Downtown Victoria Bike Valet is NOW OPEN! 🚲 🔒
We've been working hard with @BESTmobility and @CityOfVictoria to launch the FREE Downtown Bike Valet Service. Today is the big day! Come on down to City Hall and check it out! #yyjbike #victoriabc pic.twitter.com/XkO4aLeeO9
— Capital Bike (@CapitalBikeCa) June 24, 2022
The first year it only operated over the summer, this year it will operate from March 17 until Dec. 23.
“We heard strong support for the Bike Valet after its successful debut in 2022,” said Mayor Marianne Alto in a news release. “The valet provides a secure and convenient service for residents, visitors and commuters, and encourages more people to visit, shop and dine downtown.”
It will be open seven days a week with the following hours:
- Monday to Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Friday 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In 2022, the city says over 11,000 bikes used the service, and over 800 were registered with Project 529, a bike registration program to help combat bike thefts.
The city conducted a survey after the fact, where 77 per cent of respondents said they cycled downtown more often and 82 per cent said they stayed downtown longer.
The cost to run the valet is $260,000, and the funding is left over from the budget from the previous council.
“You can park for a few minutes or a few hours without having to worry about your panniers, lights, or helmets,” Mayor Alto adds. “The valet makes it easy to travel to work, attend festivals, go to appointments, or enjoy the diverse restaurants and shops downtown.”
The valet is able to accept all active transportation devices including adaptive bikes, cargo bikes, bike trailers, jogging strollers and other personal mobility devices.