Bikeshare a reality?

Is Kelowna big enough to support bikeshare?

The city's active transportation co-ordinator thinks so.

Co-ordinator Matt Worona hopes to have a pilot project in place by the spring.

The transportation alternative is popular in Europe and Asia, and is becoming more frequent in Canada and North America.

Five Canadian cities including Vancouver, Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal currently offer a form of bikeshare.

Several bikeshare models are used worldwide, but Worona believes a dockless system, which utilizes internal locking and GPS locating technology, would work best in Kelowna.

"Because of the lack of docking infrastructure and the style of bikes offered, dockless systems tend to be very inexpensive to implement and rent," said Worona.

"In turn this has, for the most part, eliminated the need for a government subsidy for these systems, with regards to both capital and operational costs.

"Dockless systems are typically owned and operated by private bikeshare companies and may or may
not have agreements in place with their host municipalities for their operation."

Worona says Kelowna is already a bike-friendly city, with infrastructure in place to support it.

A bikeshare system that allows residents and visitors to access affordable and convenient bikes for short
trips would provide a number of community benefits that support the city’s transportation, carbon reduction and economic development goals.

The city is in talks with several companies that provide the service.

Worano expects to update council early in the new year.

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