The snow is already piling up, and the end of November is right around the corner — and that means the City’s first full season offering Dropbikes is coming to an end.
After a 2017 pilot project brought Dropbikes to Kingston, the plan to roll the bike-sharing program out on a larger scale got off to a shaky start. There were delays in starting the 2018 program, which was eventually cancelled due to recalls and weather. Then, a large number of the orange bikes were found in a dumpster, reportedly to be recycled, as they were not road-worthy.
But finally, in May of 2019, the new orange and white Dropbikes and their ‘havens’ (the designated areas for locking the bikes up when not in use) began popping up all over the downtown core.
So how did the first full season of Dropbikes in Kingston go? According to those with the company, pretty well.
“We had nearly 4,000 trips on the approximately 175 bikes that we had deployed across Kingston, including Queen’s University and St Lawrence College,” said Matthew Lumsden, Manager of Operations and Strategic Initiatives for Dropbike.
“We’re very proud of the success that we had in our first year operating a full-scale bike share program with the City of Kingston.”
The Dropbikes are scheduled to be removed from the streets and put into storage by the end of November 2019. And we will see those creamsicle-coloured bicycles return to city streets again in spring 2020.
“The current three-year license for Dropbike to operate their service on City of Kingston streets expires at the end of 2020 and so they have one more season left. We are evaluating their 2019 performance and will report to City Council along with any recommendations for changes to the 2020 operation as necessary,” said Paul MacLatchy, Environment Director with the City of Kingston. “We have not discussed 2020 operations with Dropbike, but will once they have wrapped up their 2019 season, which must be done by the end of November.”
For more information on Dropbike, click here.