Ready to roll

Bike share pilot launches in Calgary

CALGARY – Dockless bikes are set to hit the streets in Calgary, as part of the first pilot project of its kind in Canada.

On October 29, 2018, The City of Calgary will issue the first of two operating permits for Phase One of the Council approved Dockless Bike Share Pilot to Lime. Calgarians can expect to see shared bike services on streets and pathways starting this week.

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. Each operator will have a service area within Calgary, where bicycles will be available to the public.

“The City is taking an innovative approach to the traditional bike share model,” says Dockless Bike Share Pilot Project Manager Nathan Carswell. “We are excited that citizens of Calgary will be given another mobility option that will connect them to the places they live, work and play.”

Two applications to operate in Phase One of the pilot were received from Lime and U-bicycle. Both companies meet the operating requirements outlined as part of the permit application. Lime is planning to commence operations in October 2018 while U-bicycle plans to start operations in spring 2019.

For the first phase of the pilot, Lime will have a fleet of 375 electric pedal assist bicycles and will be granted a permit to operate within Calgary’s streets and park space. The e-bikes will initially be placed along what are anticipated to be high utilization corridors along Stephen’s Avenue, Eau Claire, the river pathway system, along 17th avenue south, in Mission, Bridgeland, Kensington and Inglewood. Moving forward, placement will occur as usership dictates.

“Lime is very excited to be hitting the pavement in Calgary, the first Canadian city to launch Lime-E dockless electric bikes. We have been energized by working with The City as they move forward on their commitment to reducing barriers for active modes of transportation and are looking forward to helping empower Calgarians with this greener, more efficient, and affordable transportation options,” said Scott Harvey, Lime’s Operations Manager for Calgary

While The City will provide oversight, the pilot will be fully funded and operated by each bike share company. Costs to The City will be recovered by fees collected from the permitted operators.

“Besides being implemented at no cost to the City, bike share will create jobs, promote mobility, and enhance tourism. We’ve seen the success of car2go and other ‘disruptive’ technologies—bike share is another example of Calgary adopting bold new transportation methods. Our cycling infrastructure is in place and this pilot project will only compliment it,” says Councillor Evan Woolley.

Set to run until 2020, the bike share pilot will allow The City to explore new ways of providing flexible, affordable and accessible mobility options. Throughout the process, feedback will be gathered by the operators through customer surveys.

An application process for phase two of the pilot will take place in Spring 2019.

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