Ottawa is about to embark upon a trial bike-share program, according to the Ottawa Citizen. From the story:
This summer’s project aims to pave the way for a permanent bike-sharing service in 2010, the commission said. “This project lays the groundwork for a broader, progressive initiative that will see both residents and visitors in Canada’s Capital Region travelling in an environmentally friendly way, at little cost,” said Marie Lemay, chief executive of the NCC, in a written statement.
A spokeswoman for the commission said the details of the trial project have not yet been determined, but a feasibility study is about to begin to establish the launch date, costs, rental locations and how the service will operate.
“We’d like to launch 45 to 50 bikes in the coming biking season,” said spokeswoman Kathryn Keyes.
Here at TransitOttawa.ca, we spoke to renowned local environmentalist David Chernushenko about such a program a few months ago.
Chernushenko cautioned that if a bike-share system were to work properly, simply implementing a program is not enough.
In order for [a bike-share program] to work, however, the proper infrastructure must be built. Chernushenko suggested that if the City commenced work immediately, it would take 10 years to complete Ottawa's transformation into a bike-friendly city.
"We would start by saying every time a street or a sidewalk needs repair, we can seize that opportunity not just to replace the sewer infrastructure and the telecom cables and everything else that’s there. We’re actually going to redesign that street," he says, suggesting that residents from Nepean to Beacon Hill could conceivably cycle to work on a daily basis.