Hamilton's bike share program struggling to meet summer opening

Hamilton's bike share operator, SoBi Hamilton, is assembling and installing bikes and stations over the next few weeks, but the target of a Summer 2014 opening may not be met, according to the city.

SoBi Hamilton currently installing 15 to 18 stations per week

Hamilton's much-anticipated bike share program, SoBi Hamilton, set up a demo station on James Street North for Open Streets Hamilton in mid-July. Some residents tested the program's GPS-enabled bikes. (Sunnie Huang/CBC)

Hamilton's new bike share program is struggling to meet the hoped-for "summer 2014" target for a full opening of the system. 

The system will likely not be fully operational until September, said Christine Lee-Morrison, manager in the city’s transportation department.

“It was an aggressive target that we had set for them with the idea that we wanted to take advantage of the summer season as much they could,” Lee-Morrison said.

“They did have their opening event in July. However, the system operation isn’t happening as soon as we had hoped.”

The demonstration event during July's Open Streets event on James Street North offered a first land look at the bikes and racks.

Factors including deliveries from overseas complicated the timeline, Lee-Morrison said.

The bike share operator, SoBi Hamilton, is busy installing 15 to 18 bike stations per week across the city, Lee-Morrison said. More than 100 stations are planned for the program.

“Progress is being made,” she said.  “Bikes and stations are being assembled as we speak.”

Portions of the program may open sooner, as soon as a critical mass of stations and bikes are installed and available, Lee-Morrison said.

Chelsea Cox with SoBi Hamilton said she expects to announce the formal launch date after a meeting between SoBi and the city coming up in early August.

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