Curiosity piques as hundreds of bikes arrive on Kelowna streets

Dylan McCullough | June 12, 2018 in Kelowna

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Kelowna city councilor Ryan Donn took his first spin on one of the new bicycles placed throughout Kelowna on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 200 orange and white bicycles arrived on the city's streets this week for the launch of a new 18-month pilot project. 

Photo Credit: Contributed.

The bikes have been placed at 40 locations - referred to as "havens" - where those with a refundable membership can use a bike for as little as one dollar.

Following Kingston and Victoria, Kelowna is only the third city in Canada to initiate the bike sharing program led by Dropbike.

Photo Credit: KelownaNow.

The pilot project comes at no cost to the city and the number of bikes will increase the more people use them. 

"Bike sharing is about making a twenty-minute walking trip that much faster," said Matt Worona, active transportation coordinator for the City of Kelowna. 

 "A good example is public transit, you get off the bus, grab a Dropbike and ride to a destination in a similar amount of time as driving and finding a parking spot would take."

Before taking off on a Dropbike, users must download the app, purchase a refundable $50 membership deposit and bring their own helmet.

The bikes feature a basket, a bell, lights and a lock. However, don't expect to win any races on a Dropbike.

Photo Credit: Bikedrop.

"There are only three gears, so you won't be going super fast, which actually makes them less accident prone," laughed councilor Donn.

"The process was very convenient, you download the app, bring your own helmet, grab a bike and off you go."

Photo Credit: KelownaNow.

When you're done riding, you can drop the bike off at a "haven" identified by the app, or for an extra fee you can leave them at any standard bike rack.

Every bike comes with a GPS tracking system if stolen. 

To find a Dropbike near you, simply download the app "Dropbike" in your phone's app store. 

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