Solving Public Transit’s Last Mile Problem
The first or last part of the trip between the bus stop and a user’s final destination is one of the main challenges that often pushes residents from regularly using transit. Bikeshare can help connect residents to higher order transit services and make transit the first choice. A 5-minute walk is roughly 400m, by bike you can cover 4 times that distance. Multimodal trips using bikeshare in other cities have been integrated into trip planning software (such as Transit App) to make trips more flexible and ultimately faster. In many cases bikeshare might enable transit riders to eliminate a transfer or more seamlessly feed into higher order transit.
Better Evidence-Based Decision Making
While multiple bikeshare models deliver different types of data, the bikeshare pilot would give us access to anonymized data and travel patterns for users. This detailed cycling data would help the City of Kelowna make better decisions in prioritizing infrastructure and understanding where people are biking.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
A bikeshare system will provide additional transportation options to Kelowna residents that will help to reduce auto dependency for certain residents in our community. Roughly 20% of all bikeshare trips in other cities would have been made by automobile. Bikeshare is supportive of Kelowna’s GHG reduction goals as described within the draft Community Climate Action Plan. Supporting Active TransportationThe creation of additional cycling infrastructure and programs aligns with the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. A bikeshare system could potentially support Council’s objective that “by 2036, 25% of all trips less than 5km in length are made by walking and cycling”.
Improving Road Safety
In cities with bikeshare, they found a decrease in injury rates (per km ridden) with respect to both general injury and head injury compared to numbers from control cities without a bikeshare system. Bikeshare collision and injury rates are also lower than previously calculated rates for personal bikes.
Improving Transportation Choice and Cost of Living
Bikeshare programs are typically affordable and low cost to use. The availability of bikes for point to point rental improves transportation choice for Kelowna residents and visitors.
Reduction in Car Use and Congestion
Using data from Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC researchers have found measurable reductions in automobile congestion following the introduction of bikeshare program. This is a possibility with a bikeshare system in Kelowna but would depend on various factors.
Supporting the Tourism Economy
Bikeshare systems are attractive for tourists and visitors to Kelowna who want to experience the city without the cost and inconvenience of driving and parking. A bikeshare program would be a valuable amenity that would improve the experience of many visitors and enable tourists to visit businesses and attractions beyond a comfortable walk. Tourism Kelowna has expressed their support for a bikeshare system.