A new e-bike sharing program is coming to UBC, providing residents with a new transportation option for making trips around the Point Grey campus and throughout Vancouver.
Mobi bike and e-bike sharing, currently available throughout the city, is aiming to have five e-bike-sharing stations in operation by the end of the year, with an additional five installed by the end of summer 2024.
The expansion will also see the installation of at least three “classic” Mobi bike-share stations on campus by the end of 2023, with another two by the end of next summer.
Confirmed locations for the first five electrified stations include Wesbrook Village, War Memorial Gym, The Irving K Barber Learning Centre, West Mall Swing Space Building and Orchard Commons.
The first ‘Classic’ stations will be located at the front of the Pharmacy Building at Agronomy Road & Wesbrook Mall, Hawthorn Place West, and Wesbrook Place South at the intersection of Ross Drive and Wesbrook Mall.
News of the expansion brings varying opinions and concerns from residents and students.
The introduction of e-bikes seems popular among students. “I think these new e-bike locations will really help with sustainability, and it would be cool if they were placed near bus stops,” says . “I’ve used bikes from companies like HOPR before, but never e-bikes. It’s nice to see other options.”
The HOPR bike-share service is currently provides 200 bikes for use and is used predominately for trips within campus.
E-bikes could provide a less strenuous—but still active—way to travel around campus and beyond, saving time while doing so. The UBC Pass, which is available to students through Mobi, aims to make the service more enticing.
The new Mobi e-bikes can have a positive environmental and social impact on campus, as students and their friends try this new form of transportation.
But some locals aren’t too optimistic.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s simply not enough,” . “I can’t see how this addition would be very beneficial.”
One criticism is that new amenities in the university neighbourhoods should be more suited for all residents. As many residents drive to work, they may not have a chance to experience the benefits.
With the arrival of the Mobi e-bikes, there are rules to remember. Although the bikes do not require a licence, users must be at least 16 years old.
E-bikes are also subject to the same rules as motorized vehicles. For example, under UBC’s Traffic and Parking Rules, vehicles of any type – including bikes and e-bikes – must not exceed the campus-wide speed limit of 30km/hr on all campus roads and 15km/hr within pedestrian areas.
Bikes cannot be used on sidewalks, and breaking the rules can result in fines.
Slow cycling is permitted within UBC’s shared pedestrianized areas like Main Mall, but for faster journeys, UBC officials advise cyclists to use the parallel corridors of East and West Mall.
Despite misgivings, the increase in convenience and the positive environmental impact cannot be overlooked.
ANNE ZHANG IS A GRADE 11 STUDENT AT PRINCE OF WALES MINI SCHOOL AND LIVES IN HAMPTON PLACE.
UBC Campus and Community Planning – Bike Share Programs – https://planning.ubc.ca/transportation/cycling/bike-share-programs