Kelowna bike valet pilot ready for take off
Kelowna residents and visitors can take their summer to the next level thanks to a new downtown bike valet pilot launching tomorrow. It’s free, convenient and secure, making the choice to travel by two wheels easier than ever before.
Bike valet service is being introduced as a two-month pilot with service available noon to 6 p.m. on weekends from Saturday, July 1 to Sunday, September 3. The service will be offered free to riders downtown at the intersection of Bernard Avenue and Mill Street.
“We developed the bike valet with RCMP data in mind,” says Community Safety Advisor Broc Tracey. “Between 500 and 700 bikes have been reported stolen each year in Kelowna since 2019 and we see an increase in those reports downtown over the weekends. We hope the valet can reduce bike theft numbers and ultimately make people more comfortable coming downtown with their bikes.”
The City is partnering with the Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition (KACC) to deliver bike valet service, with the City providing equipment and funding and KACC operating the site.
“The City of Kelowna has done well in removing barriers for multimodal road users, including cyclists, over the last number of years,” says Vice President of the KACC Davis Kyle. “Of course, some barriers still remain. Bike theft is an important one and I’m pleased that we’re working with the City on the bike valet to help remove that barrier. In the summer tourist season, it's a great way to get around, dodge traffic, and experience all of what downtown has to offer.”
Bikes left behind after 6 p.m. will be stored in a secure location and users will have to contact Community Safety Services at firstname.lastname@example.org to retrieve their bike the following Monday. Users will also be asked to complete an online survey for a chance to win one of two new bikes. Prize winners will be drawn on Tuesday, September 5.
The City will assess the bike valet’s success following the pilot. User numbers and feedback, impact on bike theft statistics and other factors will be central to deciding whether the initiative continues beyond the pilot period. Bike valet initiatives in Vancouver and Victoria were expanded due to their success, which is a potential for Kelowna moving forward.