By Gord Bowes, News staff
The Mountain will be included in the launch of the Hamilton’s bike share program after all.
Four Mountain stations are planned: St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s West 5th hospital; top of the Wentworth stairs; on Concession Street near the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre; and Mountain Drive Park.
The locations still need approval from the city.
“The Mountain stations are going to be implemented as part of this first rollout,” said Sean Burak, operations manager of Hamilton Bike Share.
The original plan didn’t include any Mountain stations, but that changed after public consultation, said Burak.
The city’s bike share system was originally to roll out in the spring with 650 bikes and 65 stations. When it starts operating, said Burak, there will be 750 bikes and about 110 stations.
Hamilton Bike Share, also known as Social Bicycles Hamilton (SoBi Hamilton), met with the Concession Street BIA last week to discuss sponsorship and further locations.
“We’re hoping to work with them to have another station, maybe two, along the Concession business district area,” said Burak. “I’m hoping we can bring that into phase one as well.”
Burak said the bike share system is about halfway through an eight-week installation of the stations. Once the stations are in, the system will be tested before it is ready for the public.
“In terms of a date when people can actually ride, I don’t have a hard date for that yet,” he said.
“Our target is the fall.”
The stations are a collection of racks mounted on a base plate that are capable of holding five to 25 bikes, plus space for advertising and other information.
Each bike will be equipped with a GPS with a cellular data connection and a locking mechanism, as opposed to usual method of a docking system with a kiosk governing the rentals.
“The locking and all the intelligence is built into each individual bike,” said Burak.
He said Hamilton Bike Share is dealing with a cell phone carrier that has made an application for the devices to Industry Canada and is awaiting approval.