Vancouver’s five-year attempt to get a bike share program going has been a tale of blown tires and bent rims, but the city has now signed a $5 million contract with a new operator and hopes to get 1,500 bikes on the road this summer.
In 2013, the city had approved $6 million to support the program and had decided to go with Portland-based Alta to operate the system and Montreal-based Bixi to provide the equipment.
Bixi and Alta had previously partnered on systems for other cities. However, both companies struggled with financial problems and Vancouver ultimately ended its relationship with both companies. The city says no payments were ever made to Alta, which had rebranded as Motivate.
After issuing a new request for proposals, the city has now decided to go with CycleHop, a company headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. The business operates bike share programs in Ottawa, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.
Vancouver program will have 1,500 bikes, with an initial rollout of 1,000 bikes in June 2016. Smoove SAS will provide the equipment.