Motor boat, canoe, kayak, and paddle boards are already available for rent in the waters of False Creek and English Bay, and water bikes will soon be another option as well.
On Monday evening, the Vancouver Park Board approved a two-year pilot program, with an option to renew for an additional term of two years, allowing BC Water Bikes Ltd. to operate a water bike rental service from Vanier Park.
The company launched in 2016, but its services were limited to pre-booked water bike classes and tours – not walk-up hourly rentals or other value-added services. It uses water bikes manufactured by HydroBike, which are said to be very stable and easy-to-ride vehicles that float on pontoons.
No permanent structures will be erected near the Vanier Park dock; the operator will operate a fully mobile service with a small tent that will be set-up and taken down daily.
In exchange, the Park Board will receive a percentage of BC Water Bikes’ gross annual revenues.
“I love this idea, I think it continues to bring more fun to our parks. We are a waterfront city and I think providing more cost-effective options for Vancouverites to get out onto the water, recognizing this would be a less expensive option than boating because not everyone can do that, is fantastic,” said NPA Park Board Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung.
“It supports the Vancouver Park Board’s mandate for active recreation and maximizes our water activities… It extends our cycling network right onto the water.”
With the Park Board’s approval, water bike rentals operated by BC Water Bikes will be made available for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.