Councillor pushes for return of bike-sharing program in Victoria

Councillor pushes for return of bike-sharing program in Victoria

A Victoria city councillor is trying to bring back a bike-sharing program to the city.

Coun. Matt Dell hopes that he’ll soon have more opportunities to make his trip to work on two wheels.

“Cities around the world are implementing bike share programs, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal have great programs. Victoria doesn’t and I would like to see one in Victoria set up as soon as possible,” said Dell.

In 2017, U-Bicycle launched a bike-share service but quickly failed after dozens of bikes were stolen, vandalized and abandoned.

Despite the previous attempt, the time to try again is now, according to Dell.

“Bike programs have evolved drastically in the last number of years. The first versions of the programs did not work very well,” he said. “What we are seeing around the world is much more modernized programs that have better features and better security features and work better for users.”

Corey Burger, policy and infrastructure chair for Capital Bike, says a new program would meet the demand for rentals and surge in the popularity of e-bikes.

“We are excited to see discussion back again around bike share. One of the biggest things that’s changed over the last couple years is the explosion of e-bikes have made it a lot easier and we know places that have e-bikes with bike-share have a lot more ridership,” said Burger.

The idea is nothing new within the province. EVO has a bike-share program in several locations in B.C., including its pilot program that launched in Whistler last year.

In a statement to CHEK News, the company wrote that it’s actively pursuing opportunities to bring its program to Victoria.

“We are in the process of pursuing a long-term public program for that region as well as other municipalities. We aren’t aware of any public opportunities in Victoria at the moment, but we are ready when they are and would love to bring Evolve E-Bike Share to the City,” the company said.

Dell is not considering putting forward a motion at this time, but city staff are currently looking at a bike-share program as a viable transportation alternative.

RELATED: Bike valet to return downtown Victoria on March 17

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