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Arbutus Street at West 7th is one of six locations around Kitsilano to grab one of Vancouver's new rental bikes.

Bike rentals come to the Westside

Published: |

Vancouver is all about the great outdoors: we love our views, we love our beaches, and those of us who travel the city on two wheels love the bike paths.

This summer, the city went a step further towards encouraging cycling with the launch of a public bike rental program, Mobi, after five years of planning.

Westside bike rentals

The majority of rental stations are located downtown but there are two racks in the Arbutus corridor at West 7th and West 10th, and two more along the Cypress bike route at West 4th and West 16th. A fifth station is near Granville Island, and a sixth is in Vanier Park.

The city chose rental locations based on public feedback. Cycle Hop, a bike-share company based in Santa Monica, California is the operator. Riders can buy various membership plans that allow them to hop on for 30 minutes or scoot around for an hour (with a helmet, of course – it’s part of the package).

Quick trips

The city says the program aims to give people an alternative to other forms of transportation for quick trips within city limits. However, those who buy a $20 monthly pass can take an unlimited number of hour-long rides.

A casual rider can easily cover 15 kilometres in an hour. A seven-kilometre radius of the rental station at Arbutus and West 7th takes in the outer limits of Point Grey, and even as far as Stanley Park. Most popular Westside destinations fall within seven kilometres of a Kitsilano condo, so go out and explore!

Keen riders can even make a run across the Lions Gate bridge to the North Shore. Bikes can be dropped at any one of the many downtown rental stations, so there’s no need to return to Kitsilano right away.

Discover Vancouver

Or, you could use that hour to investigate different Westside neighbourhoods: cycle up to see the latest Dunbar houses for sale, or other Vancouver Westside real estate listings. Marpole and the Southlands have never been easier to reach!

Even if your legs won’t carry you up the infamous hills of West 8th Avenue (gear shift! gear shift!), explore the beaches of Kitsilano, the coffee shops of Commercial Drive or Mount Pleasant’s craft breweries (just don’t drink and ride).

Keep active

Cycling is a great way to get some exercise, and Mobi promises to make it easier than ever to stay active in Kitsilano. Will people keep cycling through the rainy months? That’s another question, but at least they’ll have the option.

My one disappointment with the program is that the Westside doesn’t have more locations. The retail villages of Point Grey and Dunbar would be ideal locations for rental stations. All going well, maybe we can look forward to those next summer.

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