“In 2015, the City will launch a network of shared bicycles available for short-term use for a fee.” (source: City of Vancouver website, Public bike share system page, March 27, 2015)
The City of Vancouver is almost certain to delay the launch of the bike share system yet again, likely by another year. The bike share roll out has been a moving target ever since the April 2011 request for proposals of interest. On July 23, 2013, Vancouver City Council approved a bike share system that would cost approximately $10 million to implement and run over a 5 year time period.
The Vancouver Courier reported in February that the bike share system “to provide 1,500 bikes and 125 stations more than two years ago is no closer to a launch date” (Bike share program throws chain, Mike Howell, Feb 11, 2015). The selection of Alta Bike Share as the operator and BIXI as the supplier has been shrouded in secrecy. We’ve received word that the City’s FOI department has refused to release details on the bike share tender. Apparently a total of four proposals were received back in 2011 to implement the system. In a previous post from July 22, 2013, we raised a number of concerns about Alta:
“An open question is how was Alta chosen to run this system? There’s an alternate scenario for council to consider. There’s still enough time to have an open tender with all major bike share operators and to find a main sponsor for a system, and still have bike share in Vancouver up and running for a Spring 2014 launch. Perhaps it would be an appropriate time to open up the process for a competitive bid now that the system has a final specification in place.”
Bike share systems now operate in over 600 cities worldwide. If the system in Vancouver is to be up and running in 2015, the preparations for the docking station installation would have to be underway by now.
The last update on the City’s website was on April 7, 2014, almost a year ago. For the record, we’ve reproduced two screenshots of the City’s webpage below (March 23, 2015):
Page is dated April 7, 2014 (date at the bottom):