A shared e-bike service in Charlottetown and Stratford could be rolling by next July.
The city began working on the project after being approached by the provincial government in late 2020 with the idea of launching some sort of bike share program.
Sophie Hayes, the city’s engineering student, made a presentation to the public works committee last week as a step toward moving the project to public tender.
The project would see 68 e-bikes made available at various locations throughout Charlottetown and Stratford. Residents and visitors would be able to rent a bike from one location, and drop it off at another. Secondary locks would be provided to allow users to run errands.
One hurdle that needs to be worked out is how the service would provide helmets. The committee heard that other jurisdictions with similar programs have struggled with helmets being damaged or not returned. One solution would be to have helmets available to rent from physical locations, such as city hall or participating businesses, rather than having them paired with each bike at the charging docks.
Public works manager Scott Adams was upfront in saying that the current estimated start-up cost is preliminary, but as of now the city expects this project to cost somewhere around $600,000 to get off the ground, with the province contributing half of that amount.
UPDATE - April 12, 2023: The city anticipates issuing a request for proposals this summer (2023), with the goal of launching the service in 2024.
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