City: 2018 bike-share program cancelled due to weather, recall

Orange and white Dropbikes like this were supposed to be rolled out for the City’s bike share program in July of this year. The bike-share program in Kingston will now not launch until Spring of 2019.
Photo by Dropbike.

The already twice-delayed bike-share program that was originally scheduled to start in July 2018 has now been cancelled for the year.

“Due to manufacturer’s recall and an early winter storm, Kingston’s bike-share program, run by Dropbike Inc., will not operate in 2018,” the City of Kingston said in a press release on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018.

Initially planned to launch for the summer of 2018, the bike-share program run by Dropbike Inc. was delayed when a manufacturer’s recall meant the bikes for the program were unavailable for use. Then, despite the fact the program was supposed to be delayed until “mid-to-late October,” and then run until Thursday, Nov. 15, Dropbike was prepared to launch a small fleet of bikes this week, but was unable to due to the “early winter storm,” the City said.

Kingston City Council approved the selection of Drop Mobility to provide a larger scale program in Kingston following the success of a bike-share pilot program in 2017. Drop Mobility was to provide that program from 2018 until 2021, but will now launch the program in 2019, and both the City and Dropbike are “committed to the bike-share program and will ensure it is fully implemented in early spring of 2019,” the press release said.

“While the City is disappointed that Dropbike was unable to provide service during 2018, the program will be fully ready to roll out in the spring of 2019,” said Paul MacLatchy, director of environment and sustainable initiatives for the City of Kingston. “We continue to see the value in the Dropbike program as it provides a community bike-sharing service that will support our active transportation and climate action goals at no cost to the City.”

When in place, the bike-share program will provide more than 50 locations, known as ‘havens’ where bikes can be rented for short-term use. Once the program is active, the Dropbikes can be rented for a small fee through the Dropbike mobile app, and can be returned at any haven location. For more information on the program from the City, click here.

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