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Mobi bike share extending into East Vancouver, and it’s a sign of growing demand: UBC Prof

Mobi moving into Vancouver parks
Sept. 2016: Mobi moving into Vancouver parks

The City of Vancouver set to expand its Mobi bike share program eastward — and one UBC professor said it’s a sign of growing demand for the service.

On Thursday, the city announced it would bring the system to Commercial Drive, adding 50 stations in East Vancouver.

Coverage of Vancouver’s bike share program on Globalnews.ca:

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Kay Teschke with UBC’s School of Population and Public Health said the bikes are being used regularly, and that the expansion will only grow the numbers.

“One of the things that helps contribute to more use — not just more use overall with the number of bikes that are there, but the number of uses per bike per day — is to have a bigger system,” she said.

The City of Vancouver will be expanding its bike share system to East Vancouver by summer 2018.
The City of Vancouver will be expanding its bike share system to East Vancouver by summer 2018. City of Vancouver

Vancouver also announced this week that it will add 500 more bikes to the existing 1,300 in its fleet.

Those bikes have been ridden more than 650,000 times since the program was launched in the summer of 2016, according to the city.

Each of those bikes is being ridden about two and a half times per day during the summer, it added.

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READ MORE: First phase of Vancouver public bike share program launching today

That’s more than the average two rides a day in Toronto’s system but less than the 3.6 rides per day in Montreal.

The bikes aren’t being used as much in the winter, with ridership dropping below one ride per bike per day last December.

July 2016: City of Vancouver launches much-delayed bike share program

City of Vancouver launches much-delayed bike share program
City of Vancouver launches much-delayed bike share program

Teschke expects to see more riders drawn to the system as it expands.

“There was a lot of demand on that eastern edge of the city to bring the bike-share over there. There’s also demand on the west side to do that too,” she said.

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READ MORE: Vancouver gears up for long awaited public bike sharing service

“I think if it’s a success bringing it more to the east, there may be people saying, ‘Okay, bring it more to the west as well.'”

Under the city’s new expansion, Mobi bike stations will now populate the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station, the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood, Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside, Mount Pleasant and Kensington-Cedar Cottage.