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Yes, bike sharing is at long last coming to Vancouver. By mid June we should see about 1,000 sharable bikes ready to roll the city streets, with 500 more to potentially follow by the end of the summer.  And commuters looking for a cheap and convenient two-wheeled way to zip across town will finally have an option.

This is all part of a 5 year, $5 million agreement signed by the city of Vancouver with CycleHop Corp., which operates bike share programs in more than a dozen cities around the world.  

The snazzy new bikes will come with a 7 gear grip shift, an oversized storage basket and front and rear lights.  They will also be equipped with a 'control box' on the handlebars, which will enable riders to pay with smart cards or even their phones, in addition to paying at standard terminals.  Helmets with be provided.

The cost?  After a 1 time $5 sign up fee, bikes are $2.50 for a standard 30 minute trip.  Alternately, you can  pay $20 a month for unlimited 30 minute rides.  (Prices are still being finalized and are appoximate)

The bikes will be dispersed at more than 150 stations spaced every couple of blocks throughout the core of the city.  Initially, the area of operation will be confined to 16th Ave to Burrard Inlet and Main Street to Arbutus Street.  The program will expand to include more than 2,500 bikes in stations all the way from Commercial Drive to MacDonald Street.

What to you think about this bike sharing program?  is this what Vancouver has been waiting for?

Photo credit: Paul Krueger | Flickr

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