New bike-share program Dropbike lets you park your ride anywhere

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Vancouver bike-share initiative Mobi launched to much public acclaim in July 2016. Allowing users to jump on a cycle and park up in the docking station nearest to their destination, the service charged $9.75 for unlimited 30-minute rides in a 24 hour period.

      Drop Mobility has gone one better.

      The up-and-coming Toronto organization has secured a contract with UBC to roll out a fleet of 2,000 Dropbike bicycles for use on campus. Within a few weeks of its launch, it has achieved thousands of rides, spurring the company to announce its future aim to release the bikes across the Lower Mainland.

      Drop Mobility differs from Mobi in three key areas. Cheaper than its City of Vancouver-supported counterpart, Drop Mobility bikes start at $1 an hour, and allow cyclists to pay as they go. Unlike Mobi, which forces users to drop off their rides in designated docking areas, the company allows individuals to park their bikes anywhere that they can be securely locked—including any bike rack, bus stop, or railing. Similar to car-share programs like Evo or Car2Go, those with a Drop Mobility account can then use the app to locate their nearest bike.

      The organization’s goal is to become one of the most widely used services by students on the UBC campus, by developing the most convenient, reliable and inexpensive way to move around.

      “We are seeing incredible adoption from students at UBC so far, with over 6,000 rides in less than five weeks,” says Drop Mobility CEO Qiming Weng. “We’re excited to work side-by-side with UBC in ensuring that bike-share is an effective solution to the community’s transportation needs.”

      “The main goal of the program is to help UBC students, staff, faculty, and residents get around this large campus a little more easily,” says Adam Hyslop, UBC’s transportation planner. “We’re hoping the availability of bike share will support UBC’s wellbeing and sustainability goals by encouraging greater levels of activity, reducing barriers to transit use, and making it easier to access the wide range of services and amenities available on campus.”

      The bike-share provider will continue to expand their mobility system at UBC over the coming years, with the hopes of eventually implementing its service across the entire West Coast region.

      Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays