Implementing a public bike share system in Calgary’s Centre City is Action #11 of the 50 action items in the Council-approved Cycling Strategy. The goal of a bike share system is to provide Calgarians and visitors with a quick and convenient mobility option throughout the Centre City. Bike share will help make Calgary’s Centre City more bicycle friendly and deliver on the vision of the Calgary Transportation Plan.
What is bike share?
Bike sharing provides a mobility option for trips too far to walk, but not long enough to justify waiting for transit or too costly to make by taxi or private vehicle. A bike share system consists of a network of bikes placed at stations located at key locations typically in the City Centre or other popular destinations. Residents or visitors to Calgary will be able to pay to access the system, after which they can use the system as many times as they wish during that period. Typically, there is a free ride period (30 to 45 minutes), after which time additional fees are charged to the person’s credit card.
What would a bike share system look like in Calgary?
The system could consist of 40 stations every few blocks throughout the Centre City, including the Beltline and areas just north of Memorial Drive. An average of 10 bikes could be available for check-out at each station.
Conceptual Bike Share System with station locations in Calgary’s Centre City
How is The City approaching bike share?
To run a bike share system successfully over the long term, The City needs to first select a suitable business model. An external consultant prepared a report on Bike Share Business Models with recommendations on the best owner and operator of a bike share system, and how it can succeed in Calgary. They concluded the business model that requires the least amount of public funding and has the lowest financial risk, is one owned and operated by a private enterprise or non-profit, which is preferred.
To support bike share and all Calgarians who want to bicycle in the Centre City, The City is planning a network of cycle tracks - bike lanes that separate cyclists from moving vehicles and pedestrians with physical barriers. A City Centre cycle track network will provide a safer and more comfortable way of getting around by bicycle and will connect with the City’s Pathway system and other on-street bikeways.
On 2012 October 10, Administration is asking Council to direct administration to prepare a Terms of Reference for a bike share system and report back through the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit no later than March 2014. The Terms of Reference will help set up a future Request for Proposals process to find the right bike share owner/operator for Calgary.
Frequently asked questions
Business model analysis