The City of Victoria is now offering a bicycle valet program.
This free, coat check-style, service opens in downtown Victoria on Friday, June 24. Bicycles (including cargo, recumbent, e-bikes, and adaptive bikes) along with push scooters, strollers and other modes of active transportation will be accepted and users can leave lights, helmets and panniers that are securely attached.
The service is located in a secure, covered zone at Victoria city hall and will be staffed with initial operating hours from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.
The City of Victoria expects to offer extended hours for select special events throughout the summer and plans to operate the service seven days a week until early November.
“The valet service will offer exceptional convenience and peace of mind for those looking to ride downtown, particularly for families, commuters, and visitors,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement. “This pilot project is one of the ways we are working to improve bicycle parking, attract new riders and deter bike theft in the city.”
The project is one of several initiatives the city is undertaking to improve secure bike parking. A total of $500,000 from the Canada Community Building Fund (formerly the Federal Gas Tax Transfer Fund) is allocated to support these projects which also include a retrofit of the Yates Street parkade for bikes, new covered bike shelters at schools and community centres, and educational programs. The budget for the bike valet pilot is $146,000.
Victoria’s pilot program will be operated by Capital Bikes and Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST). Both have operated similar services in Vancouver and Victoria.
“Downtown Victoria enjoys a lively and vibrant urban culture and cycling is an important mode of transportation that many of our members’ employees and customers use,” said Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, in the same release. “This service will help attract people to shop, dine, visit, and park their bike downtown with confidence.”
All users will also be offered free registration with Project 529 Garage, the bicycle recovery system used by the Victoria Police Department.
For more information on the program, go to victoria.ca.
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