Bike sharing, along with scooter rentals, have been growing in popularity across North America. Almost all major urban city centres, minus those with laws prohibiting it, are involved in at least one transport sharing system, and most cities have dozens of competing companies supplying bikes. The concept is simple - free or low-cost bike rental programs that everyone can access, with a smart phone. They are easy to ride, cost effective (to use and park), and environmentally responsible. No driving license necessary, and the only limitation to barrier is finding the bike stations. Numerous public locations are now taking out car park spots or curbside space to build more bike parking, including the City of Vancouver and UBC campus.
As electric bikes grow in the market, E-bike rentals are also increasing in number and accessibility. The North Shore e-bike sharing system is now emerging as the first of its kind in the province, edging ahead of the other lower mainland bike sharing programs to become the most efficient green transportation option publicly available. With an E-bike, which makes peddling easier and helps you cover more distance in a shorter time, the hills of the north shore are no longer a problem for the average cyclist. No need to train for your commute, or arrive exhausted and sweaty to your destination. An E-bike sharing program now makes the terrain accessible to all ages and abilities.
So what about those who were ahead of the program, and already own an E-bike? What do parking options look like for private E-bike users? At the moment, not any better than conventional bike parking. E-bikes are lined up beside other bicycles, at public transportation hubs and curbside stacked and bound in chains and locks of all shapes and sizes. Your E-bike could easily be vandalised or damaged, and some battery packs are easily stolen. What the North Shore needs, and all other lower Mainland cities that have a growing E-bike user growth, is safe and secure, easily accessible bike parking.
MAZDIS is proud to provide one solution, and has already set the example by installing its pilot MazDome in Richmond. The Minoru Center allows cyclists to park their bike in private compartments, storing away jackets, helmets and bike bags alongside it, with complete ease of mind. The system is ground level, automated and easy and quick to load and unload from. Perhaps its time more cities invested in secure bike parking options like this.