‘Surprising number of rides already’: Demand for e-bike sharing program is high in Nanaimo

'Surprising number of rides already': Demand for e-bike sharing program is high in Nanaimo

Saari Hamilton rented an Evo e-bike in Nanaimo Monday, excited to be one of the first to try out the new service.

“I think it’s a fabulous way to get people out of vehicles and out into the nature,” said Hamilton, a Nanaimo resident and e-bike enthusiast.

Similar to car sharing, Evo has rental stations set up across Nanaimo, and requires the user to log onto Evo’s app to unlock the bike, and they are charged based on how long the bike is used for.
The service launched in Nanaimo on May 1 and is operated by BCAA and Evo, with a goal to get more people out of their cars for trips around the city.

“We’ve been operating for a couple of weekdays and though the weekend and we’ve seen such a surprising number of rides already. So just so positive to see folks adopting it,” said Leanne Buhler, head of Evolve e-bike and e-scooter share for BCAA.

Hamilton and her husband started Nanaimo based BCebike in 2009, renting and selling electric bikes when they were still a novelty, so the Nanaimo woman called this large scale e-bike rental service a big step forward for green transportation in the city.

“I’m hoping students will use them, I’m hoping people who come into town can get on the bikes and ride around our beautiful town,” said Hamilton.

Nanaimo is the first Island city to have the Evo bikes, but within weeks the service will expand to Courtenay-Comox. There are currently 50 bikes in Nanaimo for rent but by fall Evo plans to have 100 bikes for rent in the harbour city.

“And to expand the parking locations… to more places like the ferry terminals, VIU, the hospital. So we have a lot of conversations going on,” said Buhler.

Evo e-bike sharing is also running in Whistler and at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus, and intends to expand to more Island cities down the road.

READ PREVIOUS: New Evo e-bike sharing service coming to Nanaimo, Comox Valley

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