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Dockless Bike Share Pilot

Project update - Late March 2020

Lime removed their e-bikes from Calgary at the end of 2019. At this time, there are no plans to resume Lime Bike operations in 2020. The City of Calgary remains open to new bike share companies interested in establishing bike share operations in Calgary. Application forms can be downloaded and submitted to bikeshare@calgary.ca.

The shared electric scooters (e-scooters) will be delayed until further notice in response to the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The City will continue to provide timely updates on the shared electric scooter pilot at calgary.ca/scootershare.

 

About the dockless bike share pilot

The City of Calgary is interested in testing the viability of dockless, free-standing, bicycle share through a two-year pilot. For the pilot, we will allow permitted operators up to a set limit of bicycles, to access the street network, parks and pathways through a permit to operate within the city.

Application process

The City of Calgary is requesting applicants who have previous experience designing, building, operating, maintaining, managing and marketing modern bike share systems in other jurisdictions to apply to participate in the Dockless Bike Share Pilot.

Framework for Dockless Bike Share Permit - Phase 2

All applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. Phase two of the pilot will require a re-application for existing permitted operators.

 

Bike sharing in Calgary

Public bike share was originally identified in The City of Calgary Cycling Strategy approved in 2011. Action C-11 of the Cycling Strategy is to "implement a public bike share system in the Centre City". A public bike share system would act as an extension of the public transportation system and serves as a new mobility option for residents and visitors to our city. In 2012, Calgary's City Council gave the direction that bike share in The City of Calgary be owned and operated by a third party. Council also indicated that no public money be used for the financing of bike share stations or bike share bicycles. In July 2018, City Council confirmed a two-year bike share pilot to be initiated.

The pilot will allow The City to permit private industry with the appropriate approvals required to explore new ways of providing flexible, affordable, and accessible mobility options. It will also help assess whether these new options help achieve The City's stated mobility goals in the Calgary Transportation Plan and Cycling Strategy. The goal of bike share, and potential other shared devices, is to increase mobility options for residents and visitors alike.

Benefits of bike sharing programs:

  • Reducing the number of private vehicles and congestion on roadways
  • Filling in the gap for the vital first/last kilometer by encouraging people to cycle
  • Save time on short trips
  • Providing access to various transportation options
  • Improve people's physical health by being more physically active

Frequently Asked Questions

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Bike share is a service in which bicycles are made available for individuals to rent on a short-term basis. These bicycles are provided for a fee, and may operate in a docked (stationed) or dockless system. The bike share pilot in Calgary will operate on a dockless system, meaning bicycles will not be required to be returned to a kiosk or docking station.

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Similar to car share technology, the dockless bike share will be GPS-enabled and can be rented using each company's smartphone app. A bicycle can be parked in an acceptable public space, making sure it is not impeding pedestrian traffic. It is then available for the next customer, who will be able to locate it and begin the rental using an application on their phone.

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The cost of renting a bicycle is set by the permitted operator.​

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Each permitted operator will have a service area within Calgary, where bicycles will be available for rent to citizens and visitors. All companies are required to have an app to help customers locate bicycles and to identify locations where parking is permitted.

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The number of bicycles available is subject to change throughout the pilot.​

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Permitted operators are responsible for parking issues, maintenance and the removal and relocation of bicycles. Contact the permitted operator(s) to address all issues with bicycles.​

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For concerns about the Dockless Bike Share Pilot or a specific permitted operator, please contact 311.

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While The City will provide oversight, the pilot will be fully funded and operated by each bike share company (permitted operator). Any cost incurred by The City throughout the pilot, will be recovered by permit fees paid by the permitted operators.

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The pilot program launched in the end of summer 2018 and will run for two years, starting late September 2018 and concluding October 31, 2020. At the end of the two-year pilot program, The City will evaluate the impact and value of a dockless bike share system in Calgary.​​

Application form

Those interested in applying for a permit to operate in the Dockless Bike Share Pilot should download the
Framework for Dockless Bike Share Pilot - Phase Two application form and submit to bikeshare@calgary.ca.

Timeline

Phase One: October 30, 2018 until May 31, 2019
We are now in Phase Two
Begins June 1, 2019 - October 31, 2020
Report back to Council: Q4 2020
 
 

Location data

View an anonymized version of the location data and maps on The City's Open Data Portal.

Mid-pilot report

Download the Shared e-Bike and e-Scooter Mid-Pilot Report online.

Relevant links

Related documents

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