A dockless bike share system could be coming to Calgary

Jul 21 2018, 2:39 am

Calgary has become more of a bikeable city of the past years, and now one City Councillor wants to make biking even easier for residents and visitors alike.

In a letter published on the City of Calgary website, Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley provided detail on what a bike share system could look like in the city, and how it could potentially be implemented.

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“Steadily over the past four years, more and more Calgarians have been choosing their bike to get to and from work, school or whatever errand they have to run,” Woolley stated.

“Now, with established bike infrastructure in place, I’ve been hearing from quite a few people about ‘how great it would be to have a bike share program in our city’ and I couldn’t agree more.”

Woolley plans to introduce a notice of motion at Monday’s City Council meeting, which could kickstart a two-year bike share pilot program.

The pilot program would be likely run by LimeBike, a California-based company that operates programs in San Francisco, Berlin, Chicago, and 70 other cities around the world.

One of the things that Woolley stressed the most in his letter is that the program would come at zero cost to Calgarians.

“Potential operators like Lime Bike will be assuming the full cost of implementing and running the pilot over 24 months,” he said in the letter.

“This also represents a huge opportunity for job creation in Calgary and would require leasing significant warehouse space across the city.”

The dockless bikes would differ somewhat from what is seen with Vancouver’s Mobi bike share system, which features docks placed around downtown where riders can start and stop a trip — meaning that if the dock is a few blocks away from your eventual destination, you’ll have to walk the last leg of the journey.

Victoria, BC recently implemented their own dockless bike share program, wherein riders can find the bikes around the city through an app working with GPS locators on the bikes themselves. Riders then simply lock their bike once they’ve made it to their destination (if it is in the home zone, that is) and leave it there until it is used by another rider.

According to Woolley, Calgary’s system may fall somewhere in between, as instead of one all-encompassing home zone, there may instead be designated zones (or “havens”) where bikes can be locked.

“Now, with the proliferation of our bike lanes and cycle tracks, along with steady increases in ridership, I think now is the time to take a step forward and try this out,” Woolley said.

Implementing a bike share system is one of the 50 actions in the Council-approved Cycling Strategy, and City Council has already done some research into the feasibility of implementing such a system.

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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