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

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Car crash at Quadra and Finalyson Streets affects Saturday traffic

VicPD and the Victoria Fire Department responded

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read