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After the discontinuation of Community Access Bikeshare, a service provided by The Working Centre, the Region of Waterloo is welcoming a new service for its upcoming bike share project, that is prospected to be launched later this summer.

DropBike, a company based in Toronto that creates GPS-enabled bikes will partner up with the Region for a one-year pilot project, where residents will have the chance to test out the system. 

“We’re planning on launching somewhere between 200-300 bikes in the Region, hopefully in the next couple of weeks,” said Afraj Gill, co-founder of DropBike.

According to DropBike’s website, riders would use the smartphone application to find the bike, and scan the QR code to unlock it. 

Unlike the traditional bike share systems in other municipal cities, DropBike is a dockless system, where riders are not required to return the provided rented bikes to designated docks or stations. 

Riders can open up the smartphone app and find the nearest specially marked “havens,” or can park the bike in a public bike rack or bike post. Riders must then lock up the bike as required by their local by-laws.

Riders also have the option of paying one dollar per hour or using the program’s monthly pricing option, depending on how often they use the bikes.

Transportation within the Region has been a hot topic in the past few years. With the delay of the LRT, as well as advocacy groups such as CycleWR who are raising awareness about biker safety, the KW community is, without a doubt, looking for sustainable alternative methods of transportation. 

With the GPS-enabled locks will also help the Region in collecting data to see what is required for an adequate bike sharing system, according to Belanger. 

“We hope that with this program, the data collected from the program, and the input of the people that the Region will be able to make proper policy choices for the future,” Gill said. 

As of now DropBike has collaborated with eight other Canadian cities in initiating a bikeshare program, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Kingston. 

Visit dropbike.co for more information about the system.