Bike sharing service U-Bicycle announced this week it plans to expand across the region, including into Saanich and Esquimalt. U-Bicycle photo

U-Bicycle plans to ride into Esquimalt

Dockless bike share service launched last fall in Victoria, aims to spread across CRD

Building on their success in Victoria, U-Bicycle has announced plans to expand into Esquimalt.

In a presentation to council Monday, Raviv Litman, operations manager with the dockless bike share service, outlined its growing popularity since launching last September in Victoria.

“This is something that not only benefits environmental issues, but is also a huge benefit in terms of affordability,” said Litman, who called U-Bicycle the lowest cost transportation option when compared to public transit or driving.

At $1.50 per hour, users download the accompanying app and swipe on their smartphones to access a bicycle wherever it is. The dockless system means riders can park a bike anywhere they like, once they’ve reached their destination.

GPS technology tracks the location of the bikes, which have already been spotted in Esquimalt near the marina, outside municipal hall and at the Esquimalt Plaza.

RELATED: Bike sharing program rolls into Saanich

RELATED: Victoria goes green with new bikeshare service

“We’ve been seeing increased ridership in Victoria,” Litman told council, citing a 35 per cent weekly spike in both ridership and membership.

The company estimates the average distance for a user in Victoria is two kilometres or 15 minutes – short trips, which align with the business model. Peak riding times include the weekdays between 4 and 7 p.m. as well as weekends, meaning the service appeals to both commuters and tourists. However, Litman pointed out commuters are the “most dependable user.”

“Esquimalt is a small but very bikeable community in the CRD,” he continued, adding the existing cycling infrastructure within the Township would make the expansion a smooth transition.

The plan is to deploy 35 bikes, primarily along Esquimalt Road, as well as along the E&N Rail Trail; plans for the future include locations along Craigflower Road and Admiral Point. Currently, three operations staff in Victoria perform regular maintenance on the brakes and wheels and monitor the bikes to ensure safety for riders.

Coun. Susan Low moved to recommend staff draft an agreement similar to the one Victoria has with U-Bicycle to get the wheels in motion, which was passed unanimously.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

UPDATE: Recycling truck destroyed by fire in Victoria

Emterra truck sitting on McLure Street in residential neighbourhood, driver safe

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

VicPD cuts school liaison program over budget impasse with Esquimalt

Six officers, including three school liaisons, to be reassigned to frontline duties

Vancouver Island is home to some of the ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.

Three municipalities in Greater Victoria, and three more around the Island have gnawed their way into the top 20

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Sights of Saanich bring smiles to Japanese delegation

A small leap highlighted the short but potentially historic visit of a… Continue reading

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

Most Read