Only 68 of the original 200 U-bicycles distributed in Victoria remain after bikes have been tampered with or stolen. (U-Bicycle/Facebook)

Just over half of Victoria U-Bicycles remain on city streets

U-bicycles stolen, damaged and dumped

Just over half of the U-bicycles that once filled Greater Victoria streets are gone, mostly thanks to thieves and vandalism.

On Sept. 30, 2017, bike-sharing company U-bicycle distributed 200 bikes across the city. Equipped with GPS and self-activating locks, the bikes had no fixed bicycle racks and could be docked anywhere.

RELATED: Victoria goes green with new bikeshare service

RELATED: U-bicycle donates 25 repurposed bikes to Anawim House

Eventually, the program expanded to Saanich, Esquimalt, Langford and Cowichan Bay. In November 2018, U-bicycle switched to a “virtual parking system” in Greater Victoria. The 135 “virtual parking zones” are used for the pick up and drop off of bicycles.

The virtual “parking spots” are supposed organize the bikes and “control the chaos,” said U-Bicycle Victoria city manager Tricia Cacchione, as well as “ensure bikes aren’t being parked in inconvenient places … like blocking someone in a wheelchair.”

But virtual docks didn’t solve all of U-bicycle’s problems. Since they were first introduced, many of the bikes have been stolen, damaged or vandalized. In fact, only 110 U-bicycles remain on the streets of downtown Victoria.

It appears that one cyclist even “docked” a U-bicycle under the Johnson Street bridge.

Callisto Rivers snapped a picture of a bike submerged beneath the Johnson Street bridge.

“As a start-up company we are still dealing with the growing pains and we have come to a realization that vandalism and damage is, unfortunately, kind of just part of the process of having an accessible option for individuals,” Cacchione said, adding she hopes anyone who witnesses a bike being toyed with or damaged will contact U-Bicycle.

“We’re always essentially watching the bikes. We know which ones are missing and which ones have been taken inappropriately,” she added. “All we can do is create a dialogue and increase our community engagement.”

Robert Emmett found this U-Bicycle wheel off Douglas Street and Burnside Road.

Cacchione said many of the bikes have been donated or recycled after having their locks tampered.

When the bike is left behind, U-Bicycle has the option to donate the bikes to an organization that refurbishes them and sends them to Uganda.

RELATED: TURF WAR: Victoria bike rental outfits wheelie not down with U-bicycle

RELATED: Victoria’s U-bicycle move from dockless to virtual parking

U-bicycle has bikes in other B.C. locations including Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Richmond.

This story was updated to reflect more current numbers provided by Victoria U-Bicycle.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Police-run Youth for Change and Inclusion camp bids fond farewell to tireless directors

Founder Sgt. Paul Brookes has run camp empowering youth and creating leaders for 16 years

Canadians not afraid to take the plunge for the second time

Most will wait almost five years before remarrying

John Cleese sets fall date for Victoria return

June show sold out, comedic actor returns Nov. 4

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read