Fort bike share would be a first for Langley

The planned pilot project could add 100 rental bikes to Langley’s streets.

A new type of bike share system could make the jump from Vancouver Island to Fort Langley.

At last week’s Langley Township council meeting, Fort Langley Business Improvement Area president Gareth Abreo and representatives of U-Bicycle pitched a bike share plan.

If it goes forward, it could see approximately 100 bikes available for on-demand rental from three locations in Fort Langley and one on the Trinity Western University campus.

Unlike bike share systems in Vancouver and other major Canadian cities, the Fort BIA is contemplating partnering with a company like U-Bicycle, which uses dockless bike share. So far, Victoria and some neighbouring Vancouver Island communities are the only places where such a system is in use in B.C.

“The technology is in the bikes themselves, not in racks,” said Abreo.

A dockless bike share allows users with the appropriate app on their phone to find a nearby bike using GPS, unlock it, and ride it until they are finished their trip or errands. They can then lock the bike again and walk away. U-Bicycle advertises that they charge about $1 for a 30 minute trip.

Some dockless bike systems, such as those in Seattle, allow users to leave the bikes essentially anywhere, although they are not supposed to leave them across driveways or on sidewalks.

Abreo said the Fort BIA is proposing using an alternative model, of “virtual zones” where bikes can be picked up and left, thus preventing them from being scattered around town.

“Fort Langley is not considering a traditional ‘dockless’ model, rather a system that does include some sort of docking system or designated return areas,” Abreo told the Langley Advance. “It will likely be a hybrid. We are in active discussions with Township staff to figure out the model that would work best for our community.”

TWU might have a virtual zone, or choose to allow riders to leave the bikes anywhere on campus, Abreo said.

U-Bicycle re-balances its bikes at night, with contractors moving them back to areas of high demand.

Abreo noted that the BIA is in talks with two bike share providers.

He estimated that a system could be set up with 100 bicycles for as little as $30,000.

The only contribution being asked of the Township right now is to possibly install some bike racks around the Fort, which could be used by regular cyclists as well as a bike share system.

“As soon as the Fort Langley BIA and TOL [Township of Langley] decide on a provider to consider as a partner in a pilot, we will be able to provide more information,” Abreo said. “Currently, we do not have a timeline, but discussions are going well, and we’re looking forward to having an operational program soon.”

If the pilot goes well, he believes it could be expanded with bike share hubs at areas like the Langley Events Centre and the Carvolth Transit Exchange.

Township council was receptive to the idea, and a staff report is underway.

Dockless bike share is relatively new to Canada, but is extremely common in large Chinese cities, where tens of thousands of bikes are deployed by multiple bike share companies.

Just Posted

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income in Langley

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

Work starts on highway lanes for 216th Street project

The new Langley interchange will see another phase of work begin this autumn.

Extradition hearing set for Langley developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

Langley Saints fall to Bulldogs on Vancouver Island

The Langley team fought hard against a highly-ranked opponent.

Langley hosts woman whose story inspired Orange Shirt Day

A Williams Lake woman has been in schools this week and gives a public presentation Saturday.

Dinos and dino eggs found in Langley City park

And so are slides and swings and more at the new themed playground.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read