On any given day, you will find pigeon guano splattered all over one specific Mobi bike share station in downtown Vancouver.
But it’s not just on the bike share station rack.
The poop covers the bikes – on the seat, the electronic dashboard, the handles, and the basket.
It’s even on the helmets that accompany each bike. It’s not just on the exterior of the helmets, but on the inside as well!
This problem bike share station is located at one of the busiest intersections for foot traffic in the city, at the southwest corner of Granville Street and West Georgia Street – right next to Canada Line’s Vancouver City Centre Station entrance.
Of course, this area has long been a favoured place for pigeons to converge given the presence of food on the ground, and it remains that way even with the bike station.
The problem is particularly exacerbated by the location remaining as a popular place for bird feeders to scatter their breadcrumbs and bird seeds for the pigeons to feast upon.
Laura Beattie, a customer service manager for Mobi, told Daily Hive operations crews regularly clean the bike share station, and bikes and helmets are exchanged with clean ones and thoroughly cleaned at the company’s headquarters.
“Providing bike share stations at transit hubs and SkyTrain stations is a priority for us,” she said. “For this reason, we clean this station more often than other stations.”
According to a longtime street vendor in the area, Mobi crews service the guano-covered bike station about once a day, but that is nowhere near being frequent enough as almost all of the bikes are covered in feces again within just a few short hours.
“I don’t know why there’s a station here when they knew this is where pigeons like to be,” he said. “Those people who keep feeding the birds are a problem… [when they] drop some food you get a hoard [of pigeons] from the sky flying off the bay and straight into that spot, and the poop comes right out of them right after.”
Beattie adds the company is working with the municipal government to identify alternative locations for the station.
Two other bike share stations are located within a one block radius away from Canada Line station, with one at the intersection of Robson Street and Granville and another on the Hornby Street side of the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery.