Council meeting and public hearing
The City consulted with external stakeholders such as bike rental operators and retailers, tourism representatives, and business and merchant associations.
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Through a procurement process, the City has identified and is currently in confidential negotiations with a preferred vendor, Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., a company based in Portland, Oregon.
Alta currently operates bike shares in Boston, Washington DC, and Melbourne, among other cities, and was recently awarded the right to operate bike shares in New York City and Chicago.
If the vendor negotiations proceed as planned and are successful, City staff expect to report to Council in fall 2012. If Council approves the terms of a proposed contract, and the overall plans for a public bike share system, the targeted launch will be summer 2013.
Launching late spring 2013
Based on current information and timelines, the public bike share system will be produced and installed in spring 2013, and launch in late spring.
The City plans for 1,500 shared bicycles placed around Downtown, West End, Mount Pleasant, Fairview, and Kitsilano.
The proposed service area boundaries are Stanley Park, Main St, West Broadway, and Arbutus St, with bicycles placed at 125 docking stations, accessibly located every two to three blocks. The docking station locations will be determined.
How the bike share will be funded
The successful owner and operator of the public bike system will:
- Be responsible for capital and operating requirements
- Charge membership and access fees
- Seek corporate sponsors and contributions from private or public sources, including the City of Vancouver
This funding model is similar to that of many other cities which have a public bike share system. The goal is to minimize the financial implications to the City.
The City's role
To help the public bike share system succeed, the City will:
- Engage with and maintain an ongoing relationship with the bike share operator
- Help plan and provide land for docking stations
- Support how public property gets used
- Enable changes to appropriate regulations
Using a shared bike is simple and easy
- Rent a bicycle and a helmet (if you do not have your own) at a docking station for an affordable rate.
- Ride the bicycle.
- Return the bicycle and helmet to any available docking station within the service area.
The bike share operator redistributes bicycles and helmets throughout the day to ensure a sufficient supply at the docking stations.
Wear a helmet
As is the case for all cyclists in BC, a public bike share user is required to wear a helmet.
You can choose to wear your own helmet, or rent one at a reasonable cost when using a shared bike.
Rental helmets will be safe, easy to use, easy to clean, and accommodate a variety of head sizes. After rental, helmets will be sanitized and inspected for safety and wear before being rented by another user.
Make short-term trips
Public bike shares are great for trips under 30 minutes, helping you quickly get from one place to another. If you need a bike for more than two hours, go to a bike rental shop - it will likely cost less.
Become a member
If you plan to use a shared bike regularly, sign up as a member. Memberships are expected to be available on a short-term (daily, weekly, monthly) or long-term (annual) basis. Membership and access fees are still being developed, but will resemble pricing in cities with similar bike share systems.
Work leading up to this initiative
In March 2009, Vancouver City Council approved a motion directing staff to explore opportunities to implement a public bike share system.
Public and stakeholder feedback was collected in two phases of public consultation in summer 2009 and summer 2011, and showed general support for a bike sharing.
In April 2011, the City of Vancouver issued a Request for Expressions of Interest to request interested parties to develop, install, own, operate, and finance a public bike share system. The submissions were evaluated and a proponent short-list was created.