Pinder: Why Ottawa needs a publicly funded bike-share service

By Matt Pinder, Ottawa Citizen, July 2, 2019

I’ve lived car-free for nearly five years now. First in Hamilton, then Toronto, and now Ottawa. From my family who live in smaller communities in Ontario, I receive occasional words of sympathy for my apparent lack of mobility. But the truth is, I’ve never been happier with how I get around. Each of these cities has offered me a broad range of options for meeting my daily needs: walkable neighbourhoods, blossoming cycling networks, frequent and reliable public transit, and plentiful car-share vehicles.

But there’s something Ottawa is now missing, and it’s left a void in my transportation options: a bike-share system. For the past four years, I’m told, Ottawa has been serviced by a small but helpful private bike-share system. This year, my first summer in Ottawa, that system has packed up and left.

What is likely seen by many as a novelty is a significant loss of mobility for me. You see, even though I have a bicycle (and I use it a lot), over the past four years in Hamilton and Toronto, I’ve come to heavily rely on bike share as one of my top ways of getting around.

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