Those who commute by bike will soon have another option in East Vancouver when the Mobi by Shaw Go bike share program is expanded to Commercial Drive.
“Over the last year and a half, it has been remarkable to watch the growth of Vancouver’s public bike share system, and it’s great to be able to expand it further into East Vancouver,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Since July 2016, noted Robertson, over 650,000 trips have been made using the program.
“With more than 50% of all trips in Vancouver now made by walking, cycling and transit, Mobi has helped us fill the gaps in our active transportation network, while also reducing congestion and supporting our greenest city goals,” he added.
In a release, the city said that in a 2016 survey on the program, the ” number one recommendation to improve the system was an expansion to Commercial Drive and East Broadway. ”
The expansion will service the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station, as well as various neighbourhoods including Strathcona, Grandview-Woodland, more of the Downtown Eastside and Mount Pleasant, and into Kensington-Cedar Cottage.
The expansion plan was lauded by TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.
“TransLink is pleased to support this expansion of the bike share program as we continually look for ways to connect our customers to the transit network,” he said.
This, he said, includes “adding more secure bike parkades at SkyTrain stations in coming months, and through our annual funding to municipalities, we’re helping communities add new bike lanes and bike paths across the region.”
The expansion will build on the current network with stations every two to three blocks, and will include approximately 50 additional stations and 500 bicycles. Installation of new stations is expected to start as early as December 2017.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be planning Mobi by Shaw Go’s expansion to Commercial Drive,” says Mia Kohout, the General Manager of Mobi by Shaw Go. “The amount of requests we have received over the past year and a half for an expanded service and stations on the Drive has been overwhelming, and finally we can tell our current and potential users that it’s happening.”
The Mobi by Shaw Go service area currently includes the Downtown Peninsula, roughly bounded by Main Street, Arbutus Street, 16th Avenue, and into Stanley Park. The expansion area east of Main Street is generally bounded by Victoria Drive to the east, East 16th Avenue to the south, and the waterfront to the north.
Since its Vancouver launch in 2016:
Funding from TransLink will be provided under the Bicycle Infrastructure Capital Cost Sharing (BICCS) program. Additional direct capital costs will be borne by Vancouver Bike Share Inc. (the operator of Mobi by Shaw Go) with the City of Vancouver providing ongoing support and contractual oversight.