Fifteen new bike share stations have been installed in the Mount Pleasant and Commercial Drive area.
It's part of an overall expansion of the bike rental system into East Vancouver that will see another 35 stations in place by summer, for a total of about 50 new stations and 500 bikes being made available in that part of the city.
Installation of the stations started earlier this month and include these locations:
- St. George and Broadway
- Fraser and 10th
- St. Catherines and 10th
- Glen and Broadway
- Glen and Great Northern Way
- Keith and Great Northern Way
- Woodland and 10th
- Commercial and 10th
- Commercial and 8th
- Grandview Hwy (near Commercial)
- Commercial and 4th
- Commercial and 2nd
- Commercial and Grant
- Commercial and Charles
- Commercial and Napier
Two more stations will be installed in East Vancouver next week at these sites:
- Commercial and Adanac (bike route)
- Adanac and McLean (bike route)
The goal of the eastward expansion is to service the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station, as well as eastside neighbourhoods including Strathcona, Grandview-Woodland, more of the Downtown Eastside and Mount Pleasant, and into Kensington-Cedar Cottage.
Vancouver Bike Share Inc., the operator of Mobi by Shaw Go which has an agreement with the city to provide the rental system, is covering $2 million of the expansion cost, while TransLink is contributing $1 million.
Exact locations for the remaining 33 new East Vancouver stations are still being determined.
Mia Kohout, general manager of Vancouver Bike Share, said site selection is a "lengthy and thorough" process that requires several levels of approval.
New locations are chosen based on several criteria, including bike traffic volume, if there’s safe access, whether the site is close to cycling infrastructure and if it provides convenient access to popular destinations such as parks, residential neighbourhoods and public amenities. The City of Vancouver also requires Vancouver Bike Share to reach out to residents in the immediate vicinity to notify and collect feedback about the proposed station.
"All of these things are taken into consideration and once we draft a site plan, that plan is then reviewed by a third-party traffic engineer," Kohout said. "It's submitted to the city and it goes through internal review at the city through several different departments. Then, it's either approved or denied. Some sites don't work for various reasons."
In East Vancouver, some concerns were raised about the loss of parking and safety issues at the Woodland and 10th location, but the station was installed on April 19.
Kahout said site was picked partly because it sits at the intersection of two major bike routes.
"There's a lot of bike volume there already and there's a neighbourhood there that we're trying to serve," she said, adding, "Stations are typically every 200 to 300 metres, so every two to three blocks."
Kohout said there have been calls for bike rental stations in East Vancouver, particularly around Commercial Drive, since the system launched.
"Commercial Drive has been, by far, the number one most requested location for stations," she said.
To commemorate the long-awaited arrival of bike-share on Commercial Drive, today we pedalled 10 km. from our East Van home to a meeting with the @DowntownVan BIA. Welcome to the neighbourhood @Mobi_Bikes. You’ll make a most welcome addition to our family’s multi-modal existence. pic.twitter.com/GzW6rRzOfy— Modacity (@modacitylife) April 19, 2018
In an April 20th city press release about the expansion, Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink, said it's “always looking for new ways for [its] customers to connect with transit.”
“The expansion of Mobi Bike Share into the Commercial-Broadway area is a great step. It ties in nicely with the work TransLink is doing to improve cycling infrastructure, from the new bike parkade we will open soon as part of upgrades to Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station, to the new bike lanes and bike paths added in communities across the region each year through the cost-sharing we do with municipalities,” he stated.
While the latest expansion will only see stations installed as far east as about Victoria Drive, Kahout said this is just phase two.
"We hope to continue to grow and expand as demand for the system grows," she said.
As of April 20, there were 141 bike rental stations across Vancouver and more than 1,400 bikes available.
More information about the bike share program can be found here.