Kelowna may soon have a fleet of bikes available for hourly rentals, just like Vancouver, New York and even Paris.
Kelowna City Council is expected to receive a report today from the Transit and Programs Manager that recommends an agreement be negotiated with Dropbike Inc. for the purpose of licensing use of the public right-of-way for a bikeshare service in the spring of 2018.
If council decides to move forward, details for an 18-month bikeshare pilot in Kelowna will be hammered out at a later date. It would operate at no cost to the municipality.
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Bikeshare is a service where bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a short term basis—a cyclist can pick up a bicycle in one location using an app that bills them $1 an hour, and then they return it to another located within a defined service area.
According to the report, this city is bike-friendly and the establishment of a bike-share system that allows residents and visitors to access affordable and convenient bicycles for short distance trips would provide a number of community benefits that support the city’s mobility, carbon reduction and economic development goals.
In order to facilitate the pilot program, the city would allow a provider to use approved locations within Kelowna’s right-of-way network at no cost, through an exclusive license agreement that requires things such as selection of bikeshare havens (parking areas for unrented bikes) to be approved by the Manager of Integrated Transportation.
They would also have to provide a minimum of 500 bikes deployed as early as April 1
It would be the provider’s responsibility to maintain bikes in a safe and fully functional state of operation, removing any bike that is unsafe, damaged or otherwise in need of repair or replacement.
They would also have to operate the system so that it does not create a hazard or restrict access to, from or through any portion of the municipal right-of-way, especially with respect to sidewalks and persons with disabilities and promote the bikeshare service to the entire community.