Special Report: Cycling

Social Bicycles Chosen to Operate Hamilton Bike Share

The Bike Share will include 65 stations and 650 bicycles using SoBi's next-generation bike share system, in which the functionality is all contained within the bike itself, rather than in specialized stations.

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 29, 2013

An Information Report [PDF] going to the Public Works Committee on December 2 identifies Social Bicycles (SoBi) as the "successful Proponent" of the city's request for proposals (RFP) on operating a bicyle share in Hamilton.

Social Bicycles bike (Image Credit: Social Bicycles)
Social Bicycles bike (Image Credit: Social Bicycles)

The Bike Share, approved on May 27, will include 65 stations and 650 bicycles using SoBi's next-generation bike share system, in which the functionality is all contained within the bike itself, rather than in specialized stations.

Each bike includes an integrated U-lock connected to a GPS-enabled on-board computer to track the bike's location, who has signed it out and when/where it is locked and released.

The system also tracks bike locations in real-time. From a web browser or mobile device, you will be able to see where the nearest bike is located, how many bikes are available in each station, and so on, and even make a reservation.

After reserving a bike, you can unlock it with your PIN code and ride to your destination. Once you arrive, just lock your bike at the nearest bike corral and the bike is released from your account.

Because the technology to operate the share is self-contained in the bikes themselves, this approach saves the cost of dedicated share management stations and makes the system more flexible, while reducing the capital cost barrier to expanding the network with more bikes. It also means the bikes will be harder to steal.

The City will install 65 bike locking stations within the service area, which should benefit cyclists using their own bikes as well as cyclists using the Bike Share.

Under the five-year renewable contract between Social Bikes and the City, the $1.6 million capital cost will be covered by the City using Quick Wins money provided by Metrolinx. That includes the cost to purchase the 650 bikes and 65 stations, and to assist with installing the stations within the service area.

SoBi will assume full legal and financial responsibility to cover the operating costs via user fees, memberships, sponsorships and advertising. The day-to-day operation will be managed by a local not-for-profit group overseen by SoBi.

The BoBi RFP submission covers all of the requirements established by Council when it approved the plan, so it should be able to move quickly into implementation. SoBi currently operates bike shares in Hoboken, Buffalo, New York and Orlando.

Early on, it was widely assumed that Bixi would likely end up as the bike share provider. However, a clerical error in its submission to the City's RFP disqualified it.

This may have been a blessing in disguise, as the Montreal-based (and city-owned) corporation has experienced serious financial troubles in recent months. A planned bike share in Vancouver has been delayed due to the company's cash flow problems.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:42:54

This is going to completely change the vibe of this city. I can't wait!

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:07:56

Do we have a map yet with the proposed locations?

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 20:06:22 in reply to Comment 95301

The technology with SoBi is different from bixi - the bikes can be locked to any rack. So the "stations" will probably be little more than branded bike corrals and it sounds like we are going to get way more stations than the preliminary plans assumed (which were based on bixi, with expensive stations)

This system seems like a better fit for smaller cities with limited capital than the bixi model which requires much larger up front infrastructure costs.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:13:10 in reply to Comment 95301

The City included this map back in May with the bike share proposal:

Bike share proposed stations

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 16:54:09 in reply to Comment 95302

Proposed for Potential Consideration could be the title of Council's collective autobiography.

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By BuffaloBikeShareFan (registered) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 19:36:14 in reply to Comment 95302

I'm really excited to hear that another social bicycles program will be coming to the region. I've been following the social bicycles program in Buffalo and heard they launched a new app to help the public submit input for bike share program site selection and planning. It's called Social Cyclist (www.socialcyclist.com).

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By Cultosaurus (registered) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:30:19

Now build more bike lanes for people to use them on.

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted November 29, 2013 at 12:09:32 in reply to Comment 95303

This is the kind of thing that can really get a city thinking about cycling infrastructure. In cities like Montreal and Paris, bike share systems really provided the impetus for the city to create even more cycling infrastructure to deal with the growing demand. This is such a great system that I fully expect a significant uptake, and growing calls for safe space for cyclists.

Of CRITICAL importance to this is to note that SoBi is assuming all legal and financial responsibility of operating the system for 5 full years. Some of my conversations with Councillors has led me to believe that they aren't clear on that fact, believing that the City will be responsible for paying the operating costs. Luckily this is completely false. If anything, this is an incredible value for the city - SoBi will be operating a local non-profit and will bring jobs into Hamilton in addition to the great benefits that Bike Share can bring. I for one, am super stoked about it, and think that the staff that put this together really deserve a hell of a kudos.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 12:32:45

Great news. Hopefully they aggregate and share the GPS info with the city (user-anonymized, of course) so that City officials will have more data available to inform infrastructure and planning.

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By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 13:04:43

I know that this is not and should not be a primary consideration, and I don’t mean to imply that I disagree with the plan wholly or generally when I say this: does anyone else find it troubling that the City would propose a tax-subsidized service that involves possibly tracking users via GPS, and make no mention whatsoever of possible privacy implications? Hopefully there are some mitigation strategies (either the ability for a user to have an anonymous account somehow, or some promise from the company to destroy records upon a trip’s completion, or something), but the fact that City staff do not feel that privacy is sufficiently important to mention this is disappointing. It seems like a no-brainer that when you combine personal information with GPS tracking, privacy comes to mind and should be balanced with whatever benefits the tracking hopes to provide.

That having been said, I think the plan looks great and I’m particularly impressed that they aim for 65 stations. Having low-frills “stations” spread further on the ground makes complete sense in Hamilton.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 17:38:26

This is awesome news. I love that the bike stations are pretty much just large corrals like Portland and Montreal have installed all over those cities. There's a great photo tour here of the system:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3016887/a-dif...

If Hamilton ends up getting 750-1,000 bike corrals installed for this system, every cyclist benefits. Great job by staff on this one.

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2013 at 20:35:28

Very interesting. I have never been on one of these bicycles and am looking forward to giving them a try.

A few comments, which I'll split up into two posts. First about the bike itself, and then the Social Bike system.

The bike:

The bike has several good elements of Dutch bicycle design.

THE GOOD THINGS:

1. Correct positioning. The bicycle appears to have correct seat and handlebar positioning to ensure an ergonomically correct upright posture. This provides a comfortable ride and positions the rider to be able to properly look around to ensure road safety.

2. Internal hub gears and brakes. Low maintenance and reliable. I see that it comes in both a three-speed and eight-speed variant. I hope we get the eight-speed variant because Hamilton has hills.

3. Fenders and chainguard (shaftguard?). Good to keep our clothes clean on wet roads.

4. Dynamo generator. Hopefully the lighting system will be better than on the BIXI bike.


There are also several not-so-good bicycle design features that will seriously limit its usefulness.

THE BAD THINGS

1. Limited cargo capacity. The front basket is tiny and the rear security system appears to fail to provide a proper rear rack.

2. Shaft drive. Unproven technology. A big question mark here.

3. No coatguard/skirtguard. There is nothing to keep the rider's clothing out of the spokes. This is very dangerous.

4. No kickstand. Since this is a "lock up anywhere" bike, this may be a serious problem.

That's the good and bad of the bike itself. I also have some comments about the Social Bike system, which I'll put into a second post.

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By screencarp (registered) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 00:39:14

This is a great idea! I really like the self balancing aspect of the system and how scalable it is. It should be pretty easy to see where the bikes are being left and cheap to add approved docking stations to grow it organically. I've been pleasantly surprised to see how many folks were using the Bixi bikes on recent trips to Toronto.

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 09:35:25

Here are my comments about the proposed Social Bike system. I have already commented on the design of the bike itself in a post above, so here I'll talk about the bike share.

Although I have extensive experience using the BIXI bike system in Toronto, and have also used the Montreal and Paris systems, the Social Bike is new to me. So here goes:

THE GOOD THINGS
1. This has the potential to transform Hamilton. Paris was changed for the better by their bike share program. This change included a radical transformation in cycle mode share and cyclist demographics. When its implementation is completed, New York shows signs of going the same way.

2. I am intrigued by the "leave it anywhere" concept. This has the potential to make the bike extremely convenient. A major (probably the #1) part of the success of the Velib (Paris) system is the high density of bike share stations, with a station every 200-300 metres. With proper rebalancing,"Leave it anywhere" has the potential to put bikes outside every destination and residence.

THE BAD THINGS

Hamilton has a bad track record of incompetent implementation of good ideas that render them useless. The poster child for this is the design engineering incompetence and negligence that makes dangerously unsafe the new Red Bridge over the QEW. So here goes:

1. Not enough bikes. Bike share is "go big or go home." 650 bikes in a city of 1/2 million people is a formula for failure. Paris is a success with one bike per 97 people. Hamilton will be a failure with one bike per 770 people. Only 65 stations means that there will be inadequate station coverage, and quite a hike to get to a bike.

Velib is a success because bike share is a fast, easy and convenient way to get from A to B. Hamilton's implementation is guaranteed to be a failure because the inadequate number of bikes prevents getting a bike from being easy and convenient.

2. Inadequate political support. Hamilton City Council is kicking in a whopping total of zero dollars. After, of course, taxing car-free people to spend hundreds of millions on car infrastructure.

OVERALL CONCLUSION:
The proposed Social Bikes program has the potential to transform Hamilton for the better by increasing bike transportation mode share and broadening cycle demographics. But this potential will never be achieved with only 650 bikes. That is only one bike per 770 people. They will be so thinly scattered throughout the city that it will be impossible to ensure convenient access to a bike for travelling from A to B for destinations in Hamilton.

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:05:35

How much will it cost to join, and how much will it cost per hour to rent? Does the bike allow debit, or credit card payment? This is necessary for convenience. Why are all the stations downtown? On the mountain we have numerous bike lanes and many institutions of learning. As to the bike itself, has a pretty small basket. I wish them the best of luck, especially in the winter, four months of the year when road conditions are horrible and the weather is freezing.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 11:13:24 in reply to Comment 95356

As to the bike itself, has a pretty small basket. I wish them the best of luck, especially in the winter, four months of the year when road conditions are horrible and the weather is freezing.

The basket is too small: I would have no place to put my briefcase or shoulder bag on a bike like the one shown. The font rack-like baskety scoops on the bixi bikes are far more versatile.

As for the "four months of the year when road conditions are horrible" ... can you explain what you mean? My experience of all-year commenting by bike is that there are more like four days per year when the road conditions are horrible.

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted November 30, 2013 at 18:13:17 in reply to Comment 95356

The costs etc will be determined by SoBi, and yes they will allow credit card payment - maybe not debit, but almost no bike share systems do take debit because you'd need to take a pretty sizable deposit to make sure it would work. Most of the time if you have a membership (whether it be a 1-day, 1 week, 1 month or 1 year), the first 30 min to an hour are free, then you're charged after that. The point of bike share is not to take a bike for long trips, it's to get from point A to point B. If you want bike share bikes on the mountain, then tell your Councillor. I've heard from a couple of mountain Councillors that they "don't want bike share in their ward". As for the bad road conditions, that's a matter of priorities. Want to see more cyclists riding year round? Prioritize clearing bike lanes or major cycling paths, like they do in Madison, Wisconsin where they get a couple feet more snow a year than we do, but see thousands of people ride year round. As for the basket, it might not work for a trip to Costco, but for small, daily trips it'll do just fine. And most bike share trips are either made as part of a commute or to get to and from a restaurant or a small local shop, so it's important to design these bikes for that use.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 12:41:01 in reply to Comment 95356

Please let us know when this four month solid block of horrible road conditions is scheduled to start so we can all start stockpiling supplies.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:52:38 in reply to Comment 95356

I wish them the best of luck, especially in the winter, four months of the year when road conditions are horrible and the weather is freezing.

I realize that I'm a statistical outlier as someone who has cycled year-round since I was in my twenties, but in Hamilton there are maybe two or three days a year when road conditions would preclude cycling. They're the same days when road conditions also preclude driving - not that it stops people from driving anyway, as evidenced by the huge spike in crashes and collisions on snow days.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:24:33

Kevin wrote:

I have extensive experience using the BIXI bike system in Toronto, and have also used the Montreal and Paris systems

650 bikes in a city of 1/2 million people is a formula for failure. Paris is a success with one bike per 97 people. Hamilton will be a failure with one bike per 770 people. Only 65 stations means that there will be inadequate station coverage

Some points of clarification and to expand upon what you have said. First of all, there are numerous bike share systems worldwide in cities smaller than Toronto, Montreal and Paris, at a suitably smaller scale for the bike share system. The best example with the most in common with Hamilton is the twin cities of Minneapolis / St Paul with a total population in their urban centres of about 600,000. Their "Nice Ride" bike share system opened in 2010 with 65 stations and 700 bikes. As you suggest, station coverage is key to success for a bike share system. The 65 stations were initially all located in the central Minneapolis area, omitting St Paul altogether and other outlying suburbs. Their operating revenue in 2010, including station sponsorships but excluding a $50,000 operating grant, was $$592,424.00. And this was with an abbreviated operating season beginning in June!

In the years since, Nice Ride has expanded its system primarily through grant monies and title sponsorships, however it continues to turn a profit operationally. See the report linked here: https://www.niceridemn.org/_asset/fy64tk...

The moral of the story is that smaller systems can and do work. The key is being strategic in station location selection and prioritizing areas of the city where demographics, employment and population density, cycling infrastructure and other statistics lend themselves to the greatest uptake of bike share use. It does mean that large parts of the city will likely not receive service in the initial stages. Better to lay a solid foundation than to over-reach in the early days and fall on its face.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:28:39

Kevin also wrote (on a different topic):

Hamilton has a bad track record of incompetent implementation of good ideas that render them useless. The poster child for this is the design engineering incompetence and negligence that makes dangerously unsafe the new Red Bridge over the QEW

I haven't ridden on this bridge but I have been on it as a walker once or twice, very rarely as it is not in my neck of the woods. What are the issues you have with this bridge?

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 19:32:51 in reply to Comment 95359

My fundamental problem with the Red Bridge is the failure to apply the CROW traffic design engineering standard. This shows up in a whole host of technical problems ranging from turn radii and sight lines on downhill stretches to planting trees right next to the approach path.

This causes serious safety issues when the trees grow up and their roots start bucking up the roadbed.

There is supposed to be a minimum of two metres clear space at roadside. This allows people to see around corners and also means that if someone inadvertently runs off the road they do not immediately crash into a tree. It also allows room for the tree roots to grow without heaving up the roadbed.

There are all kinds of other issues as well. Probably the worse stretch is the East side of the bridge where we find:

1. An unmarked railway crossing. Not even a buckboard "Railway Crossing" sign.
2. A hairpin turn at that railway crossing.
3. The road fails to cross the rails at a right angle, but at a highly acute angle.
4. The railway crossing is at the bottom of the hill coming off the bridge.

This leads to a lethal trap where someone is traveling at a high rate of speed due to going down a steep hill, comes upon the railway unexpectedly due to the total lack of railway crossing signs, and is thrown into a crash due to the hairpin turn and crossing the rails at an acute angle, not a right angle.

This section of road is also not properly cleared of snow and ice in the winter. It also has trees planted right next to it so their roots will be heaving up the road surface in 10-15 years.

Viciously, dangerously unsafe. It would be difficult for me to design a more dangerous, lethal trap if I set my mind to it.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 21:47:09 in reply to Comment 95377

From a design standpoint, does the hairpin turn leading to the railway crossing achieve a turning radius that should by its design discourage high speeds around that corner and thus reduce the potential for a lethal trap? I don't recall the railway ties so I have no direct knowledge of the location, so I will take your word on the acuteness of the crossing angle.

And I assume when you repeatedly use the term "road" you are referring to the multi use trail for cyclists and pedestrians leading to and from the bridge, correct?

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 22:18:54 in reply to Comment 95379

Yes, this is the car-free eastern end of Brampton Street that forms the approach road to the bridge. The railway crossing is fairly close to where the road becomes car-free.

This railway spur appears to be used to provide deliveries to the tank farm south of Globe Park. Although I have never seen a train using this spur, every so often I do see the rust knocked off the rails in a way that implies that a heavy train just used it.

I believe that Jason is writing about where the Escarpment Rail Trail crosses Wentworth Street South. That is a totally different place. BTW, I agree with his solution for that location.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 10:51:30 in reply to Comment 95379

sadly, no. As is almost always the case in Hamilton, the roadway is widened to the point of almost being 4 lane-width across as you make this turn presumably in order to allow people to go full throttle. It should be drastically narrowed with bike lanes protected by planters through this bend and right down to Delaware. Also, a pedestrian crossing signal should be installed here, and on the Sherman Cut where the stairs cross, and the Queen St Hill where the Bruce Trail crosses it.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 15:24:32 in reply to Comment 95388

Wait, are we talking about the Red Bridge and path that crosses the QEW near the Red Hill Valley Pkwy, or somewhere else?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 23:57:25 in reply to Comment 95392

My bad...I had Wentworth and the Rail Trail on the brian. Lol. Yes, it appears this discussion is about the red bridge.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:32:52

Mark wrote:

How much will it cost to join, and how much will it cost per hour to rent? Does the bike allow debit, or credit card payment? This is necessary for convenience. Why are all the stations downtown? On the mountain we have numerous bike lanes and many institutions of learning. As to the bike itself, has a pretty small basket. I wish them the best of luck, especially in the winter, four months of the year when road conditions are horrible and the weather is freezing.

Toronto Bixi is $97 for a full year membership which includes the first 30 minutes with any one bike used at a time, and additional charges to your account if you keep a bike for more than 30 minutes. Daily fee is $5 plus additional time based charges.

Toronto keeps their bikes out in the winter. Montreal does not, nor does Minneapolis. That remains an open question here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:42:21

I hope we'll keep our bikes out all winter. This past week with some snow and very cold mornings I've noticed the same number of bike commuters all zipping through the neighbourhood, and back in the evenings. All the bike parking at the library/market was filled and overflowing earlier this week on one of our -11 degree mornings. It simply doesn't get cold enough here for long enough stretches to warrant removing the bikes.

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By g. (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:56:31 in reply to Comment 95361

speaking of which, it baffles me that there is not vastly more bike parking in that area. and why no bike racks at least in front of the market or ideally inside the market in the completely useless glassed in area?

seems like with all the talk of spending a quarter of a million dollars to provide free parking to car drivers that it would make sense to pick some of the lowest hanging fruit of which i believe is providing more bike parking and moving bus stops to the area directly in front of the market.

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By SCRAP (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 18:21:34

So those who cannot afford it, do not get access,

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 22:31:31 in reply to Comment 95393

"To them that have, shall more be given.
To them that have not, even the little they do have shall be taken away."

Amazing how a 2,000 year old condemnation of greed and injustice resonates just as validly today.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted December 01, 2013 at 21:44:49 in reply to Comment 95393

Those who can't afford aren't even offered access. Look at the gap between Wellington and the stadium. Likely the poorest postal codes in the city. No bike share. Any one who thinks this is for the 'poor' is sadly mistaken. These programs are designed for and by the middle class.

The poor are better of heading to the new hope bike coop at main and kenilworth. truly on of the unsung lights of hamilton,

The other comment about GPS monitoring is truly scary.
The managing company is american .. likely keeping their data on servers based in America … No matter their privacy policies under american law DHS still has access to the data.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 09:03:52 in reply to Comment 95396

As for the GPS, I think that the data will be very valuable if the city is smart enough to build some flexibility into the cycling master plan so that we can build according to riders' chosen routes rather than build to force them to use the city's arbitrarily chosen routes. Here is a "sneak peak" at their app visualization: map vis

When it comes to privacy, this is something that can and should be handled contractually - perhaps a note sent to council to remind them about this consideration is all it will take to get it on the table. THe GPS data should be used anonymously. In the end, there's a certain cost to individual privacy in everything that one does, and it's up to each individual to weigh that cost against the benefit of the activity.

As far as service to low income users, I'm not sure what your argument is... we have built a transportation system that SEVERELY favours car drivers over all other modes. What we have right now is terrible for the poor - it couldn't get much worse if we tried. A bike share (est. $100/year) is orders of magnitude cheaper than the cheapest car, and still cheaper than buying and maintaining a privately owned comparable bike. It's cheaper than some pairs of shoes.

I'm sure there will still be lots of people for whom a bikeshare membership is out of reach, however the SoBi system will be a catalyst for a modal shift in this town, meaning faster implementation of bike networks and complete streets for all users - including those who can't afford SoBi and must walk - or who ride their co-op bicycle.

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted December 01, 2013 at 19:57:28

as long as it's "Next-Gen"

... People love that stuff.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 08:09:49 in reply to Comment 95395

Mea culpa, but part of me wanted to describe it as "serious next-level shit" so you still dodged a bullet there.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 11:58:57

I gotta say, I'm pessimistic about this. Hamilton's near-total lack of continuous non-terrifying cycling infrastructure and minimal cycling culture will mean a very slow start for this program, and that could mean an embarrassment for the City if this program is underutilized and expensive.

It feels like the cart is before the horse. Heck, the horse a foal and the cart is a pile of lumber and gleam in a carpenter's eye.

But I'll be happy to be proven wrong.

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By chickens, eggs, carts and horses (anonymous) | Posted December 03, 2013 at 09:56:45 in reply to Comment 95409

Bikeshare does not require an extensive network of bike lanes in order to succeed. Hamilton is actually a great city to ride in. Of course there a lot of obvious gaps in our dedicated bike infrastructure, but bike usage is growing despite the roadblocks. These bikes will get more people pedaling, and will give the city a reason to revamp and speed up the infrastructure plan.

This system in particular is also forward-thinking, reasonably priced for implementation and will make us look like pioneers instead of followers. I think Hamilton's SoBi will put Toronto's Bixi to shame.

I also think your pessimism is grossly misplaced.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 02, 2013 at 22:58:49 in reply to Comment 95409

our lack of cycling infrastructure is certainly a concern. Hopefully this will give us a kick in the pants to get our act together. As far as the cost. It's $1.6 million to outfit a huge swath of the city with these bikeshare stations. That's a few blocks of road resurfacing. This is fantastic bang for the buck.

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 18:01:58

One thing for sure, we will find out how many people are willing to pony up to rent a bicycle 12 months of the year. In the long-run it might be cheaper to buy a bike at Canadian Tire and use it for short trips. With GPS all usage can be tracked, like cell phones. Remember the Mustard Seed Co-op? How's that working out? The good thing about this is the capital costs were paid by Metrolinx, and no city hall cash will be spent. If it fails we can sell the hardware, but the city gets to keep that cash. A win-win for taxpayers.

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By gaping maw (anonymous) | Posted December 03, 2013 at 09:51:10 in reply to Comment 95418

The world according to MAW is a strange world indeed. Your idea of a win-win for taxpayers is to use metrolinx money to buy bikes and then sell them? Get real. You have completely failed to understand the concept of bike share. You should keep your uninformed opinions to yourself until you've visited some real cities, used their bike share, and witnessed first hand the positive change these systems effect on every city that implements them. We don't need your type of squelching in Hamilton any more.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 02, 2013 at 22:56:31 in reply to Comment 95418

A win-win for taxpayers would be shifting 5, 10 or 15% of transportation trips away from cars and to other, healthier modes of travel. We'd save millions in road maintenance costs, millions in healthcare costs, millions in lost productivity due to poor health, cleaner air which again is directly tied to health, safer streets for citizens between 8 and 80 years of age to safely move around their neighbourhoods.
'Win-win' is an understatement.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 21:43:53 in reply to Comment 95418

Remember the Mustard Seed Co-op? How's that working out?

Huh? They are opening in January and currently have almost 900 founding members.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2013 at 21:37:25 in reply to Comment 95418

Owning and renting bikes is like owning and renting cars, but at a smaller scale. The convenience aspect is the same - renting means you didn't have to bring the bike from home (if you took transit or carpooled) - just like renting a car from the airport.

So rent vs buy isn't really comparable. Everybody can afford to own a bike, we just don't keep one in our pockets all the time.

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2014 at 14:33:39

Almost September, still no bike-share bikes, electronics don't work on any Canadian cell carriers, so we have 750 dumb-bikes.

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