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Bike Share in Waterloo Region
#1
I am finding myself very jealous of Hamilton's bike share system. I have seen Community Access Bikeshare but the big drawback for me is that there are not nearly enough stations to make it useful for most trips. Also, the system seems a bit dated in comparison - the key boxes are inside buildings so there's not 24 hour access, not to mention it shuts down for the winter. Does anyone here have any experience with CAB? Or any inside information on what the future may hold for this system?

I know there was a failed effort to launch a new bike share system - Grand River Bike Share - a couple of years ago. What would it take to launch a Sobi style system here? Do you think there is enough support to make it worthwhile?

Some interesting information on the launch of Sobi Hamilton from the FAQ on their website:

Quote:SoBi Hamilton is the local, non­-profit operator of the system, and the bikes and racks are owned by the City of Hamilton. The City of Hamilton received $1.6 million funding from the Metrolinx Quick Wins program to fund the one-­time purchase of the bikes and station infrastructure. Social Bicycles was chosen as the system and equipment provider after submitting a proposal through an RFP process. No local taxpayers money was used to fund this project. While the City paid for the capital expenditure with the Metrolinx money, they do not financially support the operations. Operations of the bike share system are fully funded by membership fees and sponsorships. Since SoBi Hamilton is a non­-profit organization, any additional revenue from operations will be reinvested in the system to expand the service area and purchase new equipment.
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#2
I adore SoBi!

We discovered it last summer and made use of it several times while visiting Hamilton. I've suggested several times on twitter and via email to them that if they're looking to expand, Waterloo Region would welcome them with open arms!

Transit connections are continually improving and having the ability for a visitor from Toronto to get off the train and hop on a bike, and proceed right up the Spur Line trail could be a huge draw.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#3
My wife and I were CAB members for a few years while we were living in Uptown. We rarely had issues getting access to the key boxes. All the Waterloo locations are 24 hour, as are a number of Kitchener locations. The station map meant they were most useful for trips between Uptown and Downtown, or out and back trips. A few times we went on trips that lasted several hours (St Jacobs, job interviews, etc.) and the CAB people were always happy to let us keep the bikes all day.
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#4
highlander, you're right that SoBi is great. I was living in Hamilton at the time it launched- there was some opposition at first (based on the cost, the fact that some street parking was lost to stations, and that the coverage area was a relatively small part of the city), but it didn't take long for it to be generally viewed as a great success.

For a price tag similar to the system in Hamilton's, it would be a bargain in KW. Which level of government would fund it, though? If the Region, would Cambridge be okay being left out for a while? In Hamilton, the initial coverage area was only part of the lower city, maybe twenty square kilometres or so. A SoBi system in KW would probably be concentrated along the King corridor, between say (spitballing here) Fairway and Columbia or Northfield. I don't think it could justify itself in less dense areas.

It would be really cool. I think it could be very successful here.
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#5
It looks like CAB is using this type of system in Waterloo with "stations" uptown and at UW and WLU. They have a new website: http://cabikeshare.org/ I'm hopeful that any further expansion of the system will follow this model.

Quote:Open the app and it shows you were all the bikes are located near you. You don't need to pick up a bike from a station. You don't need to return a bike to a station. You can leave a bike almost anywhere (ideally attached to a bike rack) as long as it is safe and likely to be used again there.

I was recently using the nextbike system in Berlin which was great (and 1 euro per 30 minute ride, no membership; not to mention great bike infrastructure in most places). The main shortfall is that a smartphone + data plan was essentially required. I think the dockless type of bikeshare is the future, but there still should be stations where you can get a bike without using an app.
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#6
So... that means two distinct and incompatible bikeshares run by the same org?  That's a curious choice.

Is it just me, or does the 14-step "how to use" seem like a rather large hurdle to casual usage?
Quote:1.  Start the app
2. Choose Nearby (if the app doesn't start there)
3.  Pick a nearby bike.  You can zoom in with double clicking or finger widening.
4.  Press "Start Rental"
5. Press OK on the Bike Checkout Message
6.  Press either circle or square button on the lock to lock or unlock the lock.  (That's a tongue-twister).  If it doesn't lock/unlock when requested, push the lock together.  Sometimes there is force on the lock which holds the mechanism from changing state.
7.  Unlock the bike.  But the lock and cable in the basket or on the lock holder.  You can put both cable ends on the lock and loop it around the seat if using the holder.
8. Ride.
9.  If you want, stop and lock up and do things along the way.
10.  When done, find a bike rack in a suitable place to lock the bike securely, ideally at a CAB rack.  Someplace it is unlikely to get vandalized.
11.  Loop the cable around one wheel, through itself, and then to the lock.  Use the lock to lock the other wheel to the frame.  Either the lock or cable should connect the bike to a rack or other anchor point.
12. Go to the app.  From either the menu screen (Android) or the bottom of any screen (iPhone), press the Stop word or icon.
13. Take a picture of the locked bike.  Try to ensure the photo includes how the bike is locked, and the lock and bike numbers.
14. Stop the app (to save phone power).

It's as easy as ABC...DEFGHIJKLM!
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#7
You forgot step 'N.' Now your phone will run out of power prematurely, and God knows what could happen then.

Obviously this is a service for students, and that's okay, but I really do think we need or ought to have a municipally-supported bike share program with much more extensive coverage.
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#8
This is why I like Hamilton's system so much. If you have a smartphone - great! You can use that. If not, you can pay cash at a terminal and it will give you a PIN. Or, if you're already signed up, you walk up to a bike and punch your PIN in on it. Bikes can be shackled anywhere since the hardware is on the bike, so docks are nothing more than racks. I really think it's the best.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#9
(07-06-2017, 10:04 AM)Canard Wrote: This is why I like Hamilton's system so much. If you have a smartphone - great! You can use that. If not, you can pay cash at a terminal and it will give you a PIN. Or, if you're already signed up, you walk up to a bike and punch your PIN in on it. Bikes can be shackled anywhere since the hardware is on the bike, so docks are nothing more than racks. I really think it's the best.

I was wondering about that.  A system that can only be used if you have a smartphone would exclude luddites like me!
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#10
It's no better in Germany. I tried to use Deutsche Bahn's Call-a-Bike system, and after dumping 2 rounds of 12 Euro payments into it (seemingly the minimum amount), it still wouldn't permit me to rent one. So frustrating, especially since the weather was absolutely perfect last night, and I found a bunch of MUT's that go right through and along the train lines and rivers! Sad
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#11
From https://lf.kitchener.ca/WebLinkExt/0/doc...Page1.aspx

Quote:Mr. D. Pimentel spoke about his involvement with IMPACT (Intermunicipal Partnership for Active Transportation) and the goal to enhance the current Bikeshare system in the Waterloo Region.

Mr. D. Pimentel said information has been gathered in regards to Hamilton Sobi system and exploring different options.

Mr. D. Pimentel said they are working on a feasibility study, and the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo have the funds available. The Region and City of Cambridge still need to get the budget approved. Mr. D. Pimentel said the implementation cost needs to be looked into.

Mr. D. Pimentel said this will be an expansion of the current Bikeshare system already in place. Mr. D. Pimentel said the benefit of a system like Sobi is the data it provides to cities; it is easy to track who is using the system and where.

Councilor Y. Fernandes asked about the timeline for the feasibility study. Mr. D. Pimentel responded 2019/2020 would be the launch of the program.
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#12
SoBi is fantastic, and is the best bike sharing system I've used, by far. If it came here, I would be ecstatic! Not so much for me to use, but for others - family and friends from out-of-town, who I could now easily go for bike rides with!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#13
(08-03-2017, 03:23 PM)highlander Wrote:
Quote:Mr. D. Pimentel said this will be an expansion of the current Bikeshare system already in place.

[I tried to use the "thinking face" emoji but the forum didn't like it.]

In words: it is quite disappointing that the local municipalities are still supporting the Working Centre in approaching the problem with no interest in what viable bike-sharing-as-transportation requires to succeed. If they actually care about bikesharing they need to do it on their own. Meanwhile, considering how little use the Working Centre bikes get and how hard the system is to use, the current programs is no better than just giving out bikes to people who need them.
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#14
(08-03-2017, 11:53 PM)mpd618 Wrote: [I tried to use the "thinking face" emoji but the forum didn't like it.]

In words: it is quite disappointing that the local municipalities are still supporting the Working Centre in approaching the problem with no interest in what viable bike-sharing-as-transportation requires to succeed. If they actually care about bikesharing they need to do it on their own. Meanwhile, considering how little use the Working Centre bikes get and how hard the system is to use, the current programs is no better than just giving out bikes to people who need them.

"They" as in the municipalities?
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#15
(08-03-2017, 11:53 PM)mpd618 Wrote: Meanwhile, considering how little use the Working Centre bikes get and how hard the system is to use, the current programs is no better than just giving out bikes to people who need them.

Do you really think the number of bikeshare users is less than the total number of bikeshare bicycles?
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