Why bikeshare and rental may never return to Kelowna | Kelowna News | iNFOnews

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Why bikeshare and rental may never return to Kelowna

Dropbike was a hit in 2018 but peddle bikeshares are no longer viable.
June 11, 2020 - 5:30 PM

The Dropbike rental program was a big hit in Kelowna in the summer of 2018, but it appears similar vehicles won't be coming back — perhaps ever.

“As of the end of 2018, over 85,000 e-scooters were available for public use in about 100 U.S. cities,” states a report going to Kelowna city council Monday. “In contrast, dockless pedal bikes, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, have largely disappeared from city streets.”

Council had asked staff for a report about the possibility of bringing pedal bikes back.

The report states that the only way a pedal bike program with 300 pedal bikes could be implemented would be with a subsidy in the range of $1 million per year.

The use of e-scooters, on the other hand, experienced “staggering” growth before COVID-19.

Rental e-scooters have been put on hold in Kelowna since COVID-19. The city is hoping to hear from the province by the end of June on whether its application to run a pilot program this summer has been accepted.

That project would allow e-scooters on city streets. Currently they are only allowed on certain pathways along the Okanagan Lake and the Rail Trail.

ROLL, one of the companies licenced to rent e-scooters in Kelowna is also permitted to rent out 50 e-bikes as well.

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