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Person using Vancouver Bike Share bike in a separated cycling lane

Public bike share system

Photograph by CycleHop and Smoove

In summer 2016, the City will launch a public bike share (PBS) system – a network of shared bicycles available for short-term use for a fee.

With bicycles located across the network at secure, easy-to-use docking stations, they offer a convenient, comfortable, flexible, and affordable way to get around.

Nearly 1,000 cities around the world, including Montreal, New York City, Boston, and Seattle have started public bike shares.

Goals of bike sharing

In addition to providing people with a healthy transportation option, public bike share systems can help:

  • Extend the reach of transit and walking trips
  • Reduce the need for personal vehicle trips
  • Trigger greater interest in cycling, and increase cycling ridership

A public bike share system aligns with the City’s Transportation 2040 Plan and Greenest City Action Plan objectives of making cycling a viable, sustainable transportation option.

Recent developments with this initiative

Introducing Mobi, bikes we share

May 20, 2016 – The name selected for Vancouver’s new bike share program to launch this summer is Mobi. Discounted memberships are available until June 30.

Learn more in our news story

Suggest a station site for public bike share

April 8, 2016 – If you live, work, or play in and around downtown Vancouver, you're invited to suggest a station site for Vancouver’s new public bike share system.

Learn more in our news story

City selects new partner for public bike share system

February 23, 2016 – The City enters into an agreement with CycleHop Corp Canada as its partner for implementing a public bike share system.

Learn more in our news story

Past developments

Service area, bikes, stations, and helmets

The initial public bike share service area includes the downtown peninsula, bounded by Arbutus Street, 16th Avenue, and Main Street. This area suits a public bike share because of the high number of homes, offices, and businesses, and the potential for many short-distance bicycle trips.

1,500 seven-speed, adult-sized bikes will be available at 150 solar-powered stations, spaced every two to three blocks on streets, sidewalks, plazas, parks, and private property within the service area. We are still deciding on exact locations and CycleHop will soon begin gathering suggestions for station locations.

Because anyone riding a bicycle in BC must wear a helmet, helmets will be available with bikes at no additional cost to you. CycleHop will sanitize and inspect used helmets for safety and wear before returning them to the bikes.

CycleHop will manage helmet supply on an ongoing basis as part of their daily operations.


Purchasing daily and monthly passes will give you access to the public bike share. A sample daily pass is a $5 sign-up fee plus $2.50 per 30 minutes of usage. A sample monthly pass of $20 could include unlimited trips up to 30 minutes. Additional usage fees would apply for trips longer than 30 minutes. These are sample rates only.

CycleHop will consult with the City to set rates that discourage competition with bike rental shops, and that are in line with other North American cities that have public bike share systems. For example, public bike share rates will best suit short rides, while longer rides will be cheaper at bike rental shops.


Date Milestone

April 2011

  • City calls for expressions of interest to implement and operate a public bike share (PBS) system

June 2011 

  • City holds a public open house about the PBS

June 2012 

  • City staff identify Alta Bike Share, Inc. as the preferred operator, and begin negotiations 

Fall 2012 

  • Council amends bylaws to help implement the PBS system
  • Staff hold four consultation sessions with external stakeholders to explore PBS impacts

Spring 2013

  • Staff continue negotiations with Alta
  • Staff hold additional information meetings to update stakeholders

Summer 2013

  • Council authorizes staff to enter into a contract with Alta, provided they meet sponsorship and financing requirements

June 2015

  • City decides to close the expression of interest process as the City and Alta were unable to reach an agreement
July 2015
  • City issues a new request for proposals for a service provider to implement and operate the PBS system

February 2016

  • City and CycleHop enter into an agreement
Spring 2016
  • City engages with stakeholders
Summer 2016
  • City and CycleHop launch the PBS with 1,000 bikes at 100 stations
  • CycleHop adds 500 more bikes and 50 stations

The owner-operator's role

As the expected third-party owner and operator of the PBS system, CycleHop will:

  • Be responsible for capital and operating requirements
  • Secure the necessary funding to deliver the PBS system with corporate sponsorship revenues
  • Charge membership fees and user fees
  • Ensure the PBS system is safe and usable 

This business model is similar with PBS systems in many other North American cities.

The City's role

To help the public bike share system succeed, the City will:

  • Provide a $5 million fee for the launch and operation of the PBS for five years 
  • Engage with and maintain an ongoing relationship with CycleHop
  • Provide ongoing in-kind support, including some station sites 
  • Enable changes to appropriate regulations
  • Monitor system performance and progress on achieving transportation and sustainability goals

To accommodate PBS stations on the street, some metered parking spaces will be removed.

Managing impacts to bike-related businesses

We heard the concerns of bike rental companies in consultation sessions and are working with CycleHop to lessen the impact of the PBS system on these businesses. The table below outlines our strategies to meet the concerns.

Concerns we heard  How we will reduce the impact

PBS stations may be placed too close to a bike rental shop 

  • Consult with the bike rental shop during the station-permitting process
  • Avoid placing stations within 50 metres of the shop

PBS stations in and around Stanley Park may compete with nearby bike rental shops  

  • Target residents and commuters as public bike share users, not tourists
PBS may offer cheaper bike rental fees than bike rental shops
  • Consult with CycleHop to set rental rates that encourage bike share users to use bike rental shops for rides over two hours


PBS users may not know about other options for renting bikes

  • Present bike rental options on CycleHop website, mobile app, and wayfinding signs at PBS stations
  • Encourage bike rental shops and bike retailers to partner with CycleHop to offer discounts on bike equipment and accessories to PBS users

Related initiatives

Work leading up to this initiative

In 2008, Translink studied the feasibility of a public bike share system in Metro Vancouver. The investigation concluded that a PBS system would be viable and beneficial in high density areas with good public transit and cycling connections.

In March 2009, Vancouver City Council approved a motion directing staff to explore opportunities to implement a PBS 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.

Transportation 2040 plan overview

Sponsor the bike share

Public bike share sponsorship opportunities are available.


Contact the bike share project team