Kelowna’s regional programs manager Jerry Dombowsky shows off one of the Dropbike cycles that will be used in the city’s new bike-share program while addressing council Monday.—Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna city council approves bike-share program

The year-round program will feature bikes accessible through a smartphone app

Kelowna is getting a bike-share program.

City council gave the plan the green light Monday, endorsing an 18-month pilot project featuring bikes to be provided by a Toronto company called Dropbike. It has similar program in Toronto and Montreal.

“This is great,” said Coun. Brad Seiben. “I’m really excited to see this.”

His comments were echoed by Coun.Charlie Hodge who said he was thrilled to see the program come to Kelowna.

He noted 10 years ago, several members of council went to Portland, Oregon to look at the bike-share program but there was no appetite for one in Kelowna at the time.

But that was then and this is now.

Council voted unanimously to approve the pilot project after hearing how the program will work.

Using a smartphone app and a credit or credit-debit card, users will be able to unlock a bike’s back wheel using the app. When they are finished riding, users will re-lock the wheel and leave it at a number of locations around the city to be called havens.

Locations of the havens will be identified on the app. Leaving it at a non-specified spot will add to the cost.

Because the bikes do not require a dock—they do include a locking cable to secure them to something— the cost of the program will be reduced, said city staff.

Dropbike will assume the costs for the program, not the city.

In 2019, city staff will report back to council on how the program was received and will then issue a request for proposals for a permanent program if the decision is to continue.

During council’s discussion, the issue of helmets came up.

City staff said while it is provincial law that cyclists wear bicycle helmets, users of the bike-share program are being encouraged to bring their own, as helmets will not be provided.

The city hopes the program will compliment the local transit system and give the public another option for environmentally friendly transportation.

Bike rental rates are expected to start at $1 per hour. The program, which could start as early as April, will run year round.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More than 1,000 Kelowna residents without power this morning

FortisBC is reporting a power outage in the Ellison area of the Central Okanagan

Minor injuries sustained in Lake Country crash between semi and snow plow

The accident occurred around 6 a.m. this morning

Snow falls in the Central Okanagan, slippery roads for Coquihalla

The winter weather is finally here in the Central Okanagan

Lake Country planner weighs in on politics after growing up during Apartheid

Mark Koch grew up in South Africa during Apartheid

New Lake Country entrance sign vandalized

The district is asking graffiti artists to draw elsewhere

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Catholic student says he didn’t disrespect Native American

Many saw the white teenagers, who had travelled to Washington for an anti-abortion rally, appearing to mock the Native Americans

Closure planned for part of Coquihalla for bridge maintenance

Bridge maintenance will occur between Highway 5A Highway 97C Wednesday

‘No’ respondents are the majority in national park reserve survey

The latest poll also shows that of those surveyed, 75 per cent would like to see a referenedum

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Waters: Speculation tax opt out is a case of guilty until proved innocent

Province uses negative-option billing to let homeowners out of new tax

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Most Read