Orange and white uprights pop up in Kelowna: city launches new bike-share
180 bikes have been placed across the city's downtown core
Orange and white bikes have been popping up around Kelowna as the city introduced a bike-sharing program called Dropbike.
In its first week of existence, the program, which already operates in Ontario and Quebec, clocked about 500 individual rides and 1,000 trips.
"We think it's going really well," said Matt Worona, the city of Kelowna's active transportation coordinator. "It's showing some really good signs."
Glad you're enjoying Dropbike! The bikes have been popular so far with 1,000 rented in the first week. When Dropbike first launched, 180 bikes were placed downtown and more bikes will be added during the summer. See <a href="https://t.co/XLIQ5MNqon">https://t.co/XLIQ5MNqon</a> for more information and have fun!—@cityofkelowna
Unlike Mobi in Vancouver, Dropbike bicycles don't require docking stations. Users log onto their smartphone app to unlock the bike's back wheels. When a rider is done their trip, they park it in one of a number of designated downtown locations called havens.
The pilot project is a joint venture between Dropbike and the city. Kelowna provides the space for the havens and Dropbike operates the rest, as well as covers the costs.
Because the city hasn't had to contribute public funds, it's more flexible in its expectations.
"We don't really have an investment to return on," said Worona to Daybreak South host, Chris Walker. "What we want to see is lots of use for not a lot of disorder in our public spaces."
Worona said the city has the infrastructure to add more bikes, but any more growth depends on how much people use the program.
The city is also looking at the possibility of expanding the project outside of Kelowna's downtown.
Although there is no timeline yet, Dropbike and the city intend to run the program up until the snow starts to fall.
Listen to the full interview below.