Could bikes like this one soon roll through Saanich? Council Monday will consider a recommendation to contact the company that currently rents out these bikes in Victoria through an app. Photo contributed

Saanich looks to saddle up with bike-share program

Will Victoria-based U-Bicycle consider expansion into Saanich?

They are green, look pretty hip, and could eventually roll into Saanich.

Saanich’s bicycle and pedestrian mobility advisory committee wants the municipality to find out whether U-bicycle, a Vancouver-based company offering an app-powered bike sharing program, could expand from Victoria into Saanich.

Specifically, the committee recommends that council write to the company to inquire whether they are “interested in making an application to operate in the District of Saanich.”

Dating back to Sept. 2017, Victoria residents can rent one of the company’s distinctive white-green aluminum-framed bicycles for $1 per 30 minutes. Each bike includes a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a self-activating lock. This combination of elements allows riders to drop off their bike anywhere, provided the parking location is safe and legal.

Using a down-loadable app, would-be riders can then easily find and unlock a bike near them, each of which comes with a helmet and a carbon belt drive system. Riders can then use the app to lock the bike. The app already functions beyond the municipal boundaries of Victoria, the company’s first North American location.

Regardless of the current borders, U-bicycle has previously declared it plans to expand across Canada, and Saanich appears to be a more natural fit.

Rebecca Mersereau, who sits on the committee recommending Saanich reach out to the company, said the program would be welcomed.

“It’s one of many ways to improve transportation options for people at low cost, and could help draw tourists into Saanich as well with our fabulous Galloping Goose and Lochside Trail network,” she said.

Mersereau, an avid cyclist herself, heard about the company during a presentation at the annual general meeting of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

It’s an “extremely inexpensive” mode of transportation that would require no direct financial support from the municipality, she said. It would require only a business license and the go-ahead to park the bikes around town, which could potentially contravene some bylaws, she added.

Bicycle-sharing programs are common in continental Europe, and are spreading across North America.

wolfgang.depner @saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Canadian university profs are getting older and working longer

New statistics also show more women in Canadian university faculties

Christmas craft beer show coming to Victoria

50 breweries will be featured in the third annual Christmas Craft Beer Show

Saanich approach towards recreational marijuana business unclear as Victoria moves forward

‘Each local government has unique factors to consider in regulating recreational cannabis.’

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh proposes new approach to tackling opioid crisis

Singh says the government should look at harm reduction rather than punishment

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Migrants streaming into Tijuana, but now face long stay

U.S. border inspectors are processing about 100 asylum claims a day at the main border crossing with San Diego

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

One month after legalization, illicit cannabis shops doing brisk business

When asked what has changed since Canada legalized on Oct. 17, one staffer said: “We’re just busier.”

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Most Read