The City of Burnaby took another step forward in its plan for a bike share program in the city after council approved a report recommendation from city staff on Monday.
In the report, entitled Bike Sharing in Burnaby, the city’s planning and development committee recommended that council “advance a Request for Qualification (RFQ) and, if applicable, a Request for Proposals (RFP) to pilot a bike-sharing program, and the use the findings from that process to develop a policy framework for managing the use of the public realm by the private sector.”
The RFQ is the bidding process in which the city asks companies to submit their interest to bid and the city determines if they’re qualified or not. Shortlisted companies can then submit a RFP.
The report notes that the city has been approached by representatives of several operators of bike-sharing systems expressing an interest in launching operations, including applications for business licenses.
“These bike-share program proposals provide the city with an opportunity to examine the potential for an operational model in support of strategic transportation objectives,” it states.
The “underlying principle” of bike sharing, the report says, “is enabling individuals’ use of bicycles on an ‘as needed’ basis without the costs and storage requirements of ownership.”
It can also “increase mobility choice and flexibility, reduce congestion and fuel use, provide for multimodal transport connections (e.g. use of transit and cycling to make one trip), and even replace or supplement trips that may be circuitous or inconvenient by another mode. ”
The report notes that the desire for a regional bike-sharing system was identified in TransLink’s Regional Cycling Strategy for Metro Vancouver in 2011, and points to Vancouver as a place where such a program has been implemented.
Vancouver launched its public bike share system, “Mobi by Shaw Go,” in 2016. A docked system, Mobi operates 175 stations focused on a catchment area between Arbutus Street and Victoria Drive, from 16th Avenue to the False Creek shoreline including the Downtown peninsula.
The system operates with over 1,500 bicycles, and is working to expand across Vancouver and other parts of Metro Vancouver.
The report also noted that within the last year, several jurisdictions including UBC, Richmond, and Port Coquitlam “have either piloted or are about to embark on processes to implement bike-sharing systems.”