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Ward 8 News: Cycling culture in Calgary could get a little bit more green with Lime Bike

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As we dive deeper into the heart of our summer months, I’ve seen our cycle-tracks, bike lanes and pathways get busier by the day. Steadily over the past four years, more and more Calgarians have been choosing their bike to get to and from work, school or whatever errand they have to run. Now, with established bike infrastructure in place, I’ve been hearing from quite a few people about “how great it would be to have a bike share program in our city” and I couldn’t agree more. So, I’m proud to be introducing a notice of motion on Monday for Council’s consideration in regards to a two-year Bike Share pilot program.
The City’s Transportation Department has been in discussions with a number of operators over the last year who are interested in introducing a program to our city. I believe there is a good opportunity for us to pilot a program at no cost to the taxpayer or the City and with great benefit to Calgarians in terms of increased transportation choice, job creation, and economic development.
The concept of bike sharing is as simple as it sounds. It’s as easy as grabbing your smartphone, scanning a code, paying a small fee, unlocking a bike and then riding it to your destination where you lock and place it for the next user. Whether it’s providing tourists coming to Calgary with a simple option to explore our city, helping a University student make their commute to school a little bit faster and easier, or offering an easy solution for you to simply get where you need to go; bike share has proven to be a great additions to any mobility network.
The bike share program that Calgary is looking at would be a system of bicycles available for short term rental that allows users to get a bicycle at one location and drop it off at another. "Dockless" or "stationless" means the bike share system has no physical stations, but instead has designated zones (called havens) where bikes will be placed and locked, ready for the next rider.
California-based bike share company, LimeBike, who have operated dockless bike and share programs within San Francisco, Berlin, Chicago and 70 other cities world-wide are a great example and are super interested in participating in our pilot. I have talked with them a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Their technology is sound; they have traditional bikes, e-bikes (power assisted), and powered scooters.
A really important factor moving forward with this pilot program for me was that it be rolled out at no cost to you or the City. Potential operators like Lime Bike will be assuming the full cost of implementing and running the pilot over 24 months. This also represents a huge opportunity for job creation in Calgary and would require leasing significant warehouse space across the city.
The City has been studying the feasibility of bike share in Calgary and when the report from an independent consultant came back to the City in 2012, we didn’t yet have the cycle tracks and had fewer bike lanes in general. In my role as City Councillor for Ward 8, I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of our incredible city – where will Calgarians live and how they will get around? Now, with the proliferation of our bike lanes and cycle tracks, along with steady increases in ridership, I think now is the time to take a step forward and try this out.

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

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