How many of your umbrellas have you lost or broken? For us, it’s every single last one of them, and at this point, we’ve just about given up buying them.
But a new service opening in downtown Vancouver might just get you over that hump, out of the rain, and under a blessed brolly once more.
UmbraCity, an umbrella sharing service based at UBC since 2015, has proven so successful, they’re expanding to downtown, for all us non-students who struggle to keep dry.
To rent an umbrella you can pay as you go at an automated kiosk, swipe your credit card, and take a brolly. To return it, you just drop it off at any kiosk.
Alternatively, you can sign up for membership beforehand or at a kiosk, and get a simple pin code to use at the kiosk instead, minimizing your time in the rain.
When you sign up at UBC, you get unlimited free rentals for the first 24 hours. After that, rental costs you $2/day, up to $30. Downtown pricing will take the same format.
And yes, if you break it, they’ll take it back free of charge and recycle it. But if you lose it, you’ll be charged a daily late fee.
In a release, founder Amir Entezari says he hopes to install more than 20 “strategically placed” of their smart umbrella rental kiosks in businesses around town.
“Umbrellas are often forgotten, broken, or simply a hassle to drag along. Our goal is to ease your frustrations and provide you with a favourable solution on a rainy day,” said Entezari.
“Our smart and simple technology is going to spread vibrancy and positivity, inviting everyone to join us in the umbrella-sharing economy that is convenient and affordable.”
Entezari adds that this will be first of “many global expansions as UmbraCity plans to provide the world with a simple solution to those inconvenient ‘rain worries.'”