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

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Most Read