The company working to revamp the capital region's biggest bike share service says it won't be able to launch in August as planned.
CycleHop, a Miami-based company running bike share services in five southern U.S. cities, said Friday in a news release that transferring and expanding the former BIXI program from the National Capital Commission is taking more time than they expected.
They said they're planning a "sneak peek" at four Ottawa-Gatineau locations this fall as they work on getting land permits for the full launch in the spring of 2015.
"To pinpoint it on CycleHop only, I think that's a misunderstanding of how these programs launch and what it takes to launch them," said CycleHop CEO Josh Squire.
"I think (users are) going to be very very happy. But I do understand that it is also frustrating that they have wait a little bit longer."
The NCC operated three years of BIXI service in the region, growing to a fleet of 250 bicycles, but said in 2013 it wanted to sell it.
Squire said they want to have a fleet of 500 bicycles and 50 stations across both cities.
More like car-share than BIXI model
CycleHop took over the Ottawa-Gatineau bike share program in April 2014. They said they're working with New York company Social Bicycles, which is developing bike share services in Hamilton, Ont., and seven American cities -- none of which are fully operational yet.
Social Bicycles website compares their service to car-sharing services such as VRTUCAR, where bicycles are equipped with a keyboard and GPS instead of putting that technology in the bike rack.
Users get an ID number they can use to reserve a bicycle online or punch into a keyboard of a bike they come across to take it in-person.
In Hamilton, users who don't return their bike to one of Social Bicycles' "hubs" face a small fee to their account, while users who pick up a bike and bring it back to a hub get a credit to their account.
"SoBi Hamilton" costs $85 for an year-long pass allowing 60 minutes of use per day, $15 for a month pass or $6 for 60 minutes of use.