Victoria’s bike valet is back for the season, providing cyclists with peace of mind while they spend time downtown.
Operated by Capital Bike, the bike valet is back for the second year following a 2022 pilot. With extended hours and a longer season, cyclists in Victoria can expect a reliable place compared to bike racks to store their rides.
Adam Krupper, the executive director at Capital Bike, said the program was designed to prevent bike theft, and the popularity last year is what encouraged them to extend the season and hours.
“Fundamentally, one of the reasons the service started is to help reduce bike theft and there is a program called Project 529 and it is a free bike registry system and when people register their bikes through Project 529, it goes on basically an international database,” Krupper said. “So if your bike gets stolen and it gets recovered by police, they can then access the database and check the serial number or bike description.”
To increase the number of registered bikes, Capital Bikes offers an opportunity for people to register with Project 529 as they drop off their bikes. Krupper said the process takes about two minutes and is free of charge.
Krupper also said a goal of the program is to facilitate easy access to stores during peak shopping times like the holidays, which is why the duration of the service has been extended trough Dec. 23, 2023.
Coun. Matt Dell said the bike valet pilot in 2022 proved to be a popular and supported program, and can be a great way to make downtown accessible to people who don’t want to drive.
“People also like biking downtown and it’s a nice way to get exercise and see the city, so this is a huge help for those people,” Dell said. “I’m strongly supportive of this service and think it’s a great way to support our downtown, reduce our regional transportation emissions and make people feel safer in the city.”
Lorna Johnston, who picked her bike up after a dental appointment downtown, said the process makes biking from the West Shore a breeze and she expects to use the program often.
Last year, the program parked more than 11,000 bikes and with the expanded time, Krupper is expecting that number to increase to 15,000.
Scooters and mobility devices can also be stored at the bike valet.
The current operating hours for the bike valet run from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on Sundays.
As they days get longer, the service hours may be extended. The bike valet is located on Pandora, beside City Hall.
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