The North Shore’s e-bike sharing program is now officially on the streets.
Starting today (July 26), e-bike sharing provider Lime began deploying a fleet of 200 electric assist bikes available to be rented for trips around all three North Shore municipalities.
The intent is to give residents and visitors another carbon-free option for getting around with e-bikes that make climbing the North Shore’s imposing hills a comparative breeze.
“We are so excited for British Columbia to experience an all-electric bike share program for the first time, and we encourage residents and visitors alike to try our e-bikes for a safe and sustainable transit option,” said Jen Freiman, general manager for Lime Canada, in a release.
Anyone who wants to partake has to download the Lime app to their smartphone, which will show them to a designated “grove” of parked Lime bikes.The app charges the user’s credit card $1 to unlock the bike and 30 cents per minute after that, plus tax. They can drop the bikes off within specified areas marked in blue on the app's map. Users can also sign up for Lime Prime for $7.99 per month, which eliminates the unlock fee and allows users to reserve a bike in advance for up to 30 minutes.
As of Monday afternoon, the app shows several bikes available at a grove at the foot of Chesterfield, next to the SeaBus terminal, but the company intends to have the entire fleet rolled out shortly.
The plan for an e-bike sharing program has been in the works for several years. The City of North Vancouver is leading the current two-year pilot project. In a release, Mayor Linda Buchanan welcomed the launch.
“People always tell me that building a more connected community is vital work in building a city that works for all people, and I couldn’t agree more. For too long we built cities for cars, and we’ve felt the impact as a result. That’s why I’m proud to see this e-bike share program, the first of its kind in B.C., launch here on the North Shore with all three municipalities,” she said.
“I am thrilled that there is this new fun way to explore our beautiful community and to make connections to all the destinations that bring people to the District of North Vancouver. I look forward to hearing back from our residents about their experiences of getting out on the e-bikes,” said District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little.
West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth expressed hope the e-bikes would be a catalyst for change in local transportation choices.
“Fuel to power our motor vehicles is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in West Vancouver, and e-bikes will help us lower those emissions, while providing residents and visitors a fun way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors,” she said, “This also provides a great opportunity for everyone to try out an e-bike for the first time.”
Lime has similar operations already up and running in Calgary, Ottawa and Seattle.