Kelowna’s regional programs manager Jerry Dombowski shows off one of the Dropbike cycles that will be used in the city’s new bike-share program.���Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna’s regional programs manager Jerry Dombowski shows off one of the Dropbike cycles that will be used in the city’s new bike-share program.���Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna bike share services up in the air

DropBike may not return to Kelowna, but other services are knocking at the door

Bike-share program Dropbike was well-received in Kelowna last year. Now, the bikes’ return remains uncertain as Summer, as well as bike season, fast approaches.

The City of Kelowna is not without other bike-share possibilities though, as active transportation coordinator Matt Worona said they’re exploring more options for this year.

“We came with the recommendation to look at what multiple (bike-share) operators would look like,” said Worona. “We’re trying to open the door to more services, (Dropbike) said that they’re uncertain what that market may look like for them.”

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Worona said that reviewing what the bike-share market looked like after a year was always the plan. The city wanted to learn from it and deliver something fulsome and work towards creating a competitive market.

He said that they’re at the finish line with a proposal to Kelowna council with updated bike-share programs.

“I think people are thinking that it’s likely a good thing that we’re trying to maximize value, expand the area, and open the door in a smart way,” said Worona.

“We’re doing this in a smart, long-term and flexible fashion.”

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With interest coming in from other bike-share organizations, including Lyft and Uber, as well as local Kelowna businesses, Worona said it’s just a matter of time before operators are opening up in Kelowna.

“I think people like bike-share. Lots of different ways to see bike-share in Kelowna, not sure how it’s going to shake out with the timeline.”

Once the proposal gets to Kelowna council, Worona expects an estimate of four to six weeks for operators to get established and operating.

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