Oak Bay done with U-Bicycle experiment

Bike-share company never applied for Oak Bay business license

The bike-share phenomenon is no longer welcome in Oak Bay.

U-Bicycle, you had your chance.

Count Coun. Hazel Braithwaite among those initially charmed and inspired by U-Bicycle’s potential. Now she’s disappointed enough to call U-Bicycle’s derelict bikes “urban garbage.”

“Something has gone wrong because I understand it has worked in other communities,” Braithwaite said. “So it’s kind of shocking it hasn’t worked in Oak Bay because we have strong numbers for cycling. Back then, we were hopeful that something like a bike share would really help and be used in the community.”

On Monday night, Oak Bay council will likely vote to de-prioritize its support for the bike-share program and the bylaw amendments that were drafted specifically to allow U-Bicycle in Oak Bay.

Essentially, it spells the end of the bike-share program in Oak Bay.

READ MORE: Bike share system in Oak Bay looks promising

READ ALSO: Victoria goes green with new bike-share service

Braithwaite also said she won’t approve the amendments to Oak Bay’s Streets and Traffic Bylaw until she’s seen a bike-share model that works. That means the next bike-share, or one of the anticipated E-scooter companies, would have to start over again should they wish to serve Oak Bay.

“My personal view is it hasn’t worked out the way we hoped,” Braithwaite said on Friday. “It’s almost like it’s urban garbage because the bikes are left in disarray around the community.

The move comes after a year without any significant response from U-Bicycle.

U-Bicycle is owned by three grads from Simon Fraser University. They sold Oak Bay on their intentions with a 26-page presentation in 2018 and a commitment of 38 bikes in the Tweed City. It led with statistics on the added benefits cycling has on health and well-being, how it can spell relief on overcrowded public transit, and more.

The newest staff report from Oak Bay said they were unable to make progress with U-Bicycle regarding “potential infrastructure changes and fees.” Nor did U-Bicycle apply for a business license in Oak Bay, said spokesperson Hayley Goodgrove.

“… Staff observed that the bike-share operator had difficulty responding to requests for relocation, or removal of bicycles. As a result, staff de-prioritized this work in early 2019,” states the report.

READ ALSO: Less than half of Victoria U-bicycles remain on city streets

Oak Bay News made multiple attempts to contact U-Bicycle.

U-Bicycle brought 200 bikes into Victoria in 2017 with a promise of 150 more. It expanded into Saanich, Esquimalt, Langford, Cowichan Bay and Oak Bay. In November 2018, U-bicycle switched to a “virtual parking system” in Greater Victoria. Its 135 “virtual parking zones” are used for the pick-up and drop off of bicycles. Users who drop the bikes away from the drop zones surrender a $7 fine compared to the nominal fee of $1 per half an hour of use.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

Rolling the dice on the patina of old copper

At the Galleries: Summer days continue

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read