Oak Bay done with U-Bicycle experiment

Bike-share company never applied for Oak Bay business license

The bike-share phenomenon is no longer welcome in Oak Bay.

U-Bicycle, you had your chance.

Count Coun. Hazel Braithwaite among those initially charmed and inspired by U-Bicycle’s potential. Now she’s disappointed enough to call U-Bicycle’s derelict bikes “urban garbage.”

“Something has gone wrong because I understand it has worked in other communities,” Braithwaite said. “So it’s kind of shocking it hasn’t worked in Oak Bay because we have strong numbers for cycling. Back then, we were hopeful that something like a bike share would really help and be used in the community.”

On Monday night, Oak Bay council will likely vote to de-prioritize its support for the bike-share program and the bylaw amendments that were drafted specifically to allow U-Bicycle in Oak Bay.

Essentially, it spells the end of the bike-share program in Oak Bay.

READ MORE: Bike share system in Oak Bay looks promising

READ ALSO: Victoria goes green with new bike-share service

Braithwaite also said she won’t approve the amendments to Oak Bay’s Streets and Traffic Bylaw until she’s seen a bike-share model that works. That means the next bike-share, or one of the anticipated E-scooter companies, would have to start over again should they wish to serve Oak Bay.

“My personal view is it hasn’t worked out the way we hoped,” Braithwaite said on Friday. “It’s almost like it’s urban garbage because the bikes are left in disarray around the community.

The move comes after a year without any significant response from U-Bicycle.

U-Bicycle is owned by three grads from Simon Fraser University. They sold Oak Bay on their intentions with a 26-page presentation in 2018 and a commitment of 38 bikes in the Tweed City. It led with statistics on the added benefits cycling has on health and well-being, how it can spell relief on overcrowded public transit, and more.

The newest staff report from Oak Bay said they were unable to make progress with U-Bicycle regarding “potential infrastructure changes and fees.” Nor did U-Bicycle apply for a business license in Oak Bay, said spokesperson Hayley Goodgrove.

“… Staff observed that the bike-share operator had difficulty responding to requests for relocation, or removal of bicycles. As a result, staff de-prioritized this work in early 2019,” states the report.

READ ALSO: Less than half of Victoria U-bicycles remain on city streets

Oak Bay News made multiple attempts to contact U-Bicycle.

U-Bicycle brought 200 bikes into Victoria in 2017 with a promise of 150 more. It expanded into Saanich, Esquimalt, Langford, Cowichan Bay and Oak Bay. In November 2018, U-bicycle switched to a “virtual parking system” in Greater Victoria. Its 135 “virtual parking zones” are used for the pick-up and drop off of bicycles. Users who drop the bikes away from the drop zones surrender a $7 fine compared to the nominal fee of $1 per half an hour of use.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds celebrate Year of the Rat in Victoria’s Chinatown

Lion dancers and kung fu demonstrations on display

Camosun student shares story of overcoming struggles to inspire others

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program helps former youths in care attend post-secondary institutions

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read