Worry emerges about delay to Vancouver bike-share program
A cycling-advocacy group has questioned whether Vancouver’s public bicycle-sharing program will launch later this year as expected or be delayed well into 2014.
Sit Up Vancouver has highlighted a recent comment from the city’s transportation director, Jerry Dobrovolny, as a sign the wait for the program may drag on.
In a March 4 Vancouver Magazine article, Dobrovolny is indirectly quoted as saying he “hopes to see some portion of a rollout take shape before the end of 2013.”
“Nobody’s ever launched a bike-share program in the fall or winter,” Chris Bruntlett, a Sit Up Vancouver spokesperson, told the Straight by phone.
“They always do it in the spring or summer when the weather’s best and they can actually build on that momentum,” he said.
“At this point we’re highly, highly doubtful that it’s going to happen before the end of the year, even though the city is saying they’re still hoping to put something in place by the end of 2013.”
Vancouver city councillor Heather Deal denied there are plans to push the program back until next year.
“We will be getting an update from staff this spring but so far we are planning as always to continue with the plan to launch in 2013,” Deal told the Straight by phone.
“There’s always been some flex in the system because it is a very complex issue and we’re working through a lot of different factors, so we’ve always known there had to be flexibility in the schedule,” she said.
“But there’s been no change from council in terms of direction and there have been no major new changes or barriers presented to us by staff.”
The proposed network would see 1,500 shared bicycles made available for short-term rental at 125 stations located downtown and in surrounding areas.