Though bike sharing company Dropbike bid a nice goodbye to Kelowna riders, the Drop Mobility team blamed the City of Kelowna for its program’s termination.
According to a statement from Drop Mobility, who operated the Bikedrop program in Kelowna for six months, a misguided framework ultimately ended to the program not wishing to continue local operations.
“We are leaving because the regulatory framework developed by the City of Kelowna stands in clear opposition to our values of building long-lasting, sustainable organization that can serve residents of the City for the long-term,” said the statement.
Riders took over 35,000 trips with Bikedrop, and the company thanked the support they received from the users in Kelowna.
“We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the residents of Kelowna. At it’s commencement, the system was one of the largest of its kind in any Canadian city — a milestone we believe Kelowna residents should be proud of.”
Active transportation coordinator Matt Worona said that though the city has not yet laid out official changes to bike-share programs, there will be other posssibilites that will fill the gap left if Dropbike does not return to Kelowna.
Changes to the city’s bike-share program has updated bylaw changes, would allow more business competition and enable new types of vehichles like electric scooters.
“We came with the recommendation to look at what multiple (bike-share) operators would look like,” Worona said. “We’re trying to open the door to more services.”
He said that they’re at the finish line with a proposal to Kelowna council with updated bike-share programs.
“I think people are thinking that it’s likely a good thing that we’re trying to maximize value, expand the area, and open the door in a smart way,” said Worona.
Kelowna council is expected to hear staff’s recommendations for the new bike-share program on May 6.
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