If you’ve driven anywhere near the downtown core in Calgary since the fall of 2018, you’ve likely seen the lime green bikes scattered around high-traffic areas. These bikes are part of a pilot project for dockless bike sharing in Calgary, a new mobility option to expand the public transportation system for both residents and visitors. In the fall, the city issued an operating permit to Lime, who placed 375 electric-assist bikes on Calgary streets. This two-year pilot will conclude in October of 2020, at which time the city will assess the impact and value of a dockless bike share system.
How It Works
As a dockless system, you will need a credit card, a smartphone, and the Lime application to use a bike. Once you have the app, you can see a current map of the service area and a slice of lime will show you the nearest bike to your location. (Of course, you can always go old school and just keep your eyes open for a bright green bike!) After purchasing credits on the app, you need to scan the barcode on the back of a locked bike. It costs $1 to unlock a bike and $0.30 per minute of use. Helmets are required to operate electric-assisted bikes in Alberta. When you’re finished, park the bike in an appropriate location (guidelines for where and where not to park can be seen here) and lock the bike by pushing down the locking lever on the rear tire.
It is hoped that the bike share program will facilitate the transportation needs of Calgarians and visitors, getting them where they need to go and speeding up their trip. Ideally, this will also reduce congestion on the roads and greenhouse gasses released by cars, plus encourage a more active, healthy lifestyle.
Until March 2019, the bikes are operational only in Calgary’s city centre, but April to October should see the bikes available throughout the entire city. You can check the app for an up-to-date map. A fully-charged Lime bike has approximately an 80 km range and you can see how much battery is left in each bike by checking the app. The maximum speed of the bikes is 23.8 km/hr.
And that’s it! This summer, download the app, grab a helmet, and enjoy your transportation. Your trip around Calgary just got easier!