Vancouver bike share program rolls out in June

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      After almost eight years of waiting and delays, Vancouver will finally have a bike share program.

      City hall announced Tuesday (February 23) that it has signed a five-year agreement with CycleHop Corp Canada Inc. to operate the system.

      The program will have 1,500 bikes and 150 stations. The first 1,000 bikes will be available in June this year.

      The city will pay CycleHop $5 million for five years of service. The equipment will be provided by Smoove, a French company.

      The bikes are equipped with smart technology. They will also come with helmets.

      Jerry Dobrovolny, general manager of engineering services with the city, told council in a presentation that the system can be accessed by smart cards and mobile phones.

      The network of shared bicycles will be available for short-term use for a fee.

      Work for the program started in July 2008 when council ask staff to report on bike sharing.

      In 2011, Alta Bike Share was chosen by the city to operate the system. Alta was bought out in 2015 by another company, Motivate, and the firm wasn’t able to meet conditions set by the city. Previous to that, the equipment supplier, Bixi, went bankrupt in 2014.

      The city looked for another operator, and CycleHop was chosen from among the six companies that submitted proposals.