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Petition to save Hamilton’s bike share receives more than 7,000 signatures

Hamilton Bike Share Inc. is the new operator for the city's bike program, taking over for the now departed Uber.
Hamilton Bike Share Inc. is the new operator for the city's bike program, taking over for the now departed Uber. Lisa Polewski / 900 CHML

A petition that aims to ensure the continued operation of Hamilton’s bike share has now received more than 7,000 signatures.

The petition, which goes before city council on Wednesday, calls on councillors to step in and keep the system functional past June 1, when Uber has announced that it will abandon its contract early and wind down SoBi operations.

READ MORE: City to consider all options for saving Hamilton’s bike share

Cycle Hamilton’s Jay Krause is hopeful that support for the petition while send a strong message that Hamilton’s bike share program is a “vital part of Hamilton’s transportation network.”

He adds that city funds in support of the system’s operation would “properly recognize the value” of SoBi Hamilton.

READ MORE: Hamilton Bike Share looks to break down barriers with new equity program

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Council will also receive a staff update on negotiations with Uber during Wednesday’s meeting, outlining what options exist if the company can’t be persuaded to honour its contract until it expires next February.

While the City of Hamilton does not operate the bike share program, it does own the 900 SoBi bikes and related infrastructure, thanks to a one-time, @1.6 million “quick wins” grant from Metrolinx in years past.

Four men cycling around Lake Ontario stop at a Kingston public school to encourage kids to be active and enjoy the outdoors.
Four men cycling around Lake Ontario stop at a Kingston public school to encourage kids to be active and enjoy the outdoors.