The special rate being offered to founding members of Vancouver’s new bike share system Mobi has been extended until August 15.
If you sign up for an annual pass before then, you’ll get a special rate of $99 for unlimited 30-minute rides (usually $180), or $129 for unlimited 60-minute rides (usually $240.)
The new bike share only launched two weeks ago, but already 3,577 people have signed up, with about half that number taking at least one ride on a Mobi bike so far.
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Mobi general manager and keen cyclist Mia Kohout told Daily Hive she’s thrilled with the huge uptake in membership.
“People are using Mobi that haven’t ridden a bike in a long time,” she said.
“This is changing the way people are getting around and it’s making a huge impact on their life already after only two weeks.”
Thanks @mobi_bikes for getting us doing more active things together! Both @maorode and I are now Founding Members and damn proud of it. I’m up to 52.7km now on day 3. Can’t wait for the Chilco & Beach station to open & app to be available. A station at 3rd beach would also be awesome. #MobiBikes #BikeShare #GreenestCity #Seawall #StanleyPark #VanCity #VancityLife #VancouverIsAwesome #VeryVancouver #VancouverBC #BeautifulBC #Canadagram 🌎#Vancouver #BritishColumbia #Canada Image © Kurtis Lemon @kurtislemon
Although there are currently only 387 Mobi bikes available, Kohout says data shows there is already an average of 706 trips being taken every day.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, that number peaked on BC Day, with Vancouverites finishing up their long weekend with 966 Mobi trips on Monday.
Overall, there’s an average of two trips per Mobi bike every day, as commuters take advantage of the system at peak times during the morning and evening rush hours.
Mobi is being rolled out in phases. Kohout says that by the end of September, there’ll be around 1,500 bikes available at 150 docking stations across Vancouver.
Docking stations will be located every two to three blocks between Arbutus and Main streets, and from downtown Vancouver as far south as 16th Avenue.
Right now, the most popular stations seem to be near SkyTrain stations and in locations that are hard to reach on public transit.
Top 6 most popular Mobi stations
- Ontario and Seawall
- Helmcken and Burrard
- Comox and Denman
- Anderson and 2nd
- Dunsmuir and Beatty
- Granville and Georgia
Most surprisingly, in a city renowned for its high rates of bike theft, there has been only one incident of vandalism so far, and not a single Mobi bike has been stolen.
Nor have there been any punctures, says Kohout.
Even the helmets, which are being attached to each docked bike using the retractable cable lock, are staying put, with only one being stolen on launch day.
Others, that have been accidentally left behind in bars and restaurants, have all been returned in one piece adds Kohout.
“We are so impressed with how respectful Vancouverites have been with the equipment and the system so far,” she said.
A photo posted by Jenn Lauren (@jennlaurenm) on
Vancouverites also seem to have got over their fears of helmet sharing, with most Mobi riders wearing the helmets, according to Kohout.
The helmets are now being cleaned daily, with fresh stickers applied to those which haven’t been used yet, she says.
For those still concerned about helmet sharing, helmet liners will soon be available at each Mobi station – or you could try other methods.
“One woman told me she uses her yoga mat spray for her helmet, which I thought was a good idea,” said Kohout, who also had a few more tips for new Mobi users.
Tips for using Mobi
- You can retract the cable lock into the handlebars by pushing and pulling it
- When you dock the bike, wait for a beep, there is a 10-15 second lag time
- The first time you accidentally don’t dock properly, you won’t get charged
- You can call instead of using your phone to find a Mobi station if you want
- If you get a puncture, contact Mobi, return the bike and get a new one
Although Mobi bikes are currently only available to founding members with annual passes, Kohout says there will soon be day and monthly passes available for tourists or occasional users.