Bike Share - About
About the Project
Bike-sharing offers those without bicycles – like tourists or pedestrians – convenient use of a rented bike when and where they are most likely to want it for an economical price. In 2017, Kingston completed a successful pilot program for a dockless bike-share program with Dropbike Inc., and has now selected Dropbike (through an RFP process) to deliver a city-wide bike-share program that was expected to begin in the Summer of 2018. Unfortunately, due to a delay from a manufacturer's recall of some components on bikes and early winter weather, the program was unable to launch in 2018. Both the City and Dropbike are committed to the bike-share program that will support our active transportation and climate action goals and will ensure it is fully implemented in early spring of 2019.
Dropbike Inc. is a private bike-sharing company and the City has licensed them to provide their service on city streets. There is no operating cost to the City to provide this service and people wishing to use Dropbike can access and pay for bike-sharing via Dropbike's website or mobile app.
Kingston is a cycle-friendly city with a Bronze recognition from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, and the City is working to promote cycling as an active, environmentally-friendly and economical form of transportation. Find out more on the City's cycling page or the Walk ‘n' Roll active transportation page.
The following are some of the most common questions about the City's community bike- share pilot program
What is a dockless bike-share?
A community bike-share program is a system of bicycles available for short term rental that allows users to get a bicycle at one location and drop it off at another. "Dockless" or "stationless" means the bike-share system has no physical stations or hubs, but instead has designated zones (called havens) where bikes will be placed and locked, ready for the next rider.
Who is Dropbike?
Dropbike is a dockless bike-share company, recently started within Canada, who approached the City and Queen's University with a proposal to undertake a pilot of its bike-share system in 2017.
How does Dropbike work?
Dropbike uses smart phone technology (downloadable app) to allow you find, acquire and pay for bicycle rentals. For full details about the system and the app please visit the dropbike website.
What are the benefits of a bike-share program?
- Reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) and pollution emissions by providing an alternative to vehicle use
- Improves public health and supporting active transportation
- Improves road safety with the addition of bicycles builds vehicle awareness of cyclists
- Increases community mobility through adding an affordable and convenient transportation option
- Decreases vehicle congestion on the roads
- Supports the tourism economy by offering visitors another way to see Kingston
- Demonstrates that Kingston is a city that values innovation, fitness and environmental stewardship.
What is the agreement with Dropbike?
In order to facilitate the pilot test, the City has permitted Dropbike to use approved locations within the City's right-of-way network at no cost, through a licence agreement that requires:
- Selection of Dropbike "havens" (parking areas for unrented bikes) to be approved by the City's director of engineering and the director of transportation services;
- A minimum of 100 bicycles deployed from late June through to the end of October, 2017;
- Deployment of Dropbike bicycles within the University District and the Downtown Business Improvement Area;
- Contact information for Dropbike to be clearly shown on all deployed bicycles and user interface point-of-sale applications;
Commitment of Dropbike to:
- maintain bicycles in a safe and fully functional state of operation;
- remove any bicycle that is unsafe, damaged or otherwise in need of repair or replacement;
- provide regular balancing of the bicycle fleet and remove bicycles that have been left at improper locations;
- discourage the use of public bike racks within the right-of-way for Dropbike havens;
- operate the system so that it does not create a hazard or restrict access to, from or through any portion of the municipal right-of-way, especially with respect to sidewalks and persons with disabilities;
- take steps to avoid parked bikes being easily tipped over;
- promote the Dropbike service to the entire community;
- respond to inquiries and complaints in a timely and businesslike manner;
- maintain operating data and provide data to the City of Kingston upon completion of the pilot test;
- remove all bicycles and any appurtenances from the right-of-way upon completion of the pilot test; and
- return deposits provided by system users at the end of the pilot or end of user's membership.
- Insurance and indemnifications to be provided to the satisfaction of the City Solicitor;
- Refundable financial securities to be provided to the city that are sufficient to pay for the gathering up and disposal of deployed Dropbike bicycles and any appurtenances from the city right-of-way; and
- Provisions to end the pilot test early and cancel the license agreement should commitments not be kept or conditions become undesirable to the City.