Bike Share

The City of Victoria accommodates a variety of transportation services to support the efficient movement of people, goods and services. The City of Victoria welcomes innovation within the transportation sector, including dockless bike share, and will be introducing a new regulation to guide the operations in the municipality.

 

What is bike share?

Bike share is a private service in which bicycles are made available to individuals to rent on a short-term basis. Bike share is ideal for short trips around the city – if you are looking for a more robust bicycle with multiple gears or want to go on a longer adventure, there are a number of bicycle rental businesses in the City of Victoria.

Where did bike share come from?

Early forms of bike share systems (also known as “docked” or “station-based”) required customers to pick up and return bikes at fixed stations situated on public and private property.  More recently, “dockless” bikes have emerged into the marketplace and avoid the need for permanent stations.  Locating and renting bicycles are facilitated through a digital app, allowing bicycles to be picked up or dropped off in designated “drop zones”. 

What bike share services exist in Victoria?

In October 2017, U-Bicycle North America started operations in the City of Victoria. They have up to 500 bikes and serve neighbouring municipalities of Saanich, Esquimalt and Langford. In the future, there may be other bike share operators in Victoria.

Where can I find and park a Dockless Bicycle?

Renting a dockless bicycle is facilitated through a smart phone. If you use a dockless bike, you must return the bike to a designated “drop zone” location. Drop zones (also known as virtual parking stations) are identified on the company app. Failure to end your trip in a designated parking location will result in a charge.

Do I need a helmet when using bike share?

Provincial regulation requires every cyclist to wear a helmet. The City of Victoria requires that bike share operators supply a helmet for every bicycle, but ultimately helmet safety is the responsibility of the user.

What benefits does bike share have for residents of the city?

The City of Victoria Official Community Plan has policies and goals that support the increased use of active and multi-modal transportation. If implemented effectively, bike share has the potential to address many of the City’s future transportation challenges, including:

  • Improved convenience and affordability;
  • Reduced greenhouse gases; and,
  • Improved transportation performance, through integration with other modes, including public transit to promote faster and more convenient end-to-end journeys.

Who do I contact regarding issues with dockless bikes?

Any issues with the bikes should be reported to U-Bicycle North America:

Call: 1-866-427-3116

Email: info@u-bicycle.com

Website: https://www.u-bicycle.ca/

How is the City managing the impacts of bike share?

Cities across North America are still learning about the implications of dockless bike share services and while “best practices” have not yet been compiled for this industry, management guidelines have been created from organizations such as National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the People for Bikes Foundation.

The City of Victoria is closely observing other jurisdictions across Canada, the United States, and their differing approaches to shared mobility services. City staff are also working with neighbouring municipalities and property owners in the Capital Region to encourage consistency and predictability for users and operators between communities.

Accessibility Considerations

Accessibility is a key consideration and rationale for regulating dockless mobility services in Victoria.  The City is working to develop specific requirements to reduce the number of barriers for all users of the public right of way, including persons with accessibility needs.  

How can I provide comments and input on bike share operations in Victoria?

The City will be looking for public input regarding new regulations for shared mobility services. Please stay posted for updates on an engagement process.