Saanich has officially approved a temporary business licence that formalizes the local presence of an urban bicycle supplier.
This approval allows U-Bicycle to test-ride its dockless bicycle sharing system in Saanich, where it may deploy up to 100 bicycles.
Saanich residents can now officially rent one of the company’s distinctive white-green aluminum-framed bicycles for $1 per 30 minutes.
Each bicycle includes a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a self-activating lock. Using an app, would-be riders can then find and unlock a bike near them, each of which comes with a helmet and a carbon belt drive system. Riders can then use the app to lock the bike. This combination of elements allows riders to drop off their bike anywhere, provided the parking location is safe and legal. This means U-Bicycle does not require racks or locked areas for their bikes, relying instead on public spaces.
Saanich had approached the company about two months ago to ask whether it would expand into the municipality, but discussions concluded that Saanich could not issue a business license because the company could not comply with Saanich’s streets and traffic regulation bylaw.
That hurdle, however, no longer exists after Saanich council ratified revisions to its streets and traffic regulation bylaw that paves the path for a one-year-long pilot project.
It should be said though that Saanich residents could already use the service within the boundaries of the municipalities, as the app locking and unlocking the bikes functions across municipal boundaries.