Idea #11: U-bike

Idea #11: U-bike
by: Rob Annandale

There's no denying that Vancouver is an Asia-Pacific town, but city councillor Peter Ladner thinks it's time to import a little piece of Europe.

Earlier this year, Paris launched a massive bike-rental scheme involving more than 20,000 bicycles in hundreds of electronic racks around the city. A hit from the start, the Vélib' program attracts tens of thousands of riders each day.

Other cities such as Oslo, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Brussels are already in the mix, and Ladner hopes Vancouver will soon join that list.

"I think we're going to see this everywhere, and I would just love to see it here by 2010," he told The Tyee. "In fact, there's no excuse for us not to have it here by 2010."

There is the small matter of helmets, which are mandatory in Vancouver but would be difficult to integrate into an automated rental system. But Ladner doesn't think headgear should be a deal breaker.

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