Cyclists, rejoice! After Hamilton’s bike share service suffered a near-death experience and was revived by last-minute fundraising efforts, SoBi bicycles have now officially been reactivated and are once again available for use.
This surely comes as good news to the growing list of over 26,000 Hamiltonians who make use of the popular bike share service as a key mode of cost-effective and ecofriendly local transportation.
SoBi saw a bumpy start to 2020 when Social Bicycles LLC and its parent company, Uber Inc., announced that they would be halting operations and maintenance of the Hamilton bike share service as of June 1st, citing a decrease in revenues at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s back!! #HamOnt’s #bikeshare program is back up and running. I want to send a BIG thanks to @HamOntBikeShare Chelsea Cox @petertopo Rachel Johnson for the extraordinary work they had to do to make this happen! Details on restarting your account are at https://t.co/LHiTJD9IR3 pic.twitter.com/0xs3x7LDRV
— Jason Thorne (@JasonThorne_RPP) June 30, 2020
The news saw an immediate uproar from Hamilton locals, cycling advocates, and city staff alike, who all worked quickly on finding an alternate means of keeping bike share alive in the city.
After an initial city council vote in which half of the councillors controversially voted against the idea of funding SoBi with money from the capital budgets of three lower city wards, local advocates rallied and pulled together enough money from city donors to maintain SoBi until at least 2021, or until an alternative means of funding is secured.
SoBi is now operated and maintained by local not-for-profit Hamilton Bike Share Inc., who have officially reinstated the bike share program following a service interruption that lasted the full month of June.
So how can SoBi users officially reactivate their service? Simply go to the Hamilton Bike Share website and sign into your account. From there, users will have to read and agree to the updated terms of service, and then manage their memberships and payment plan under the ‘Memberships’ tab.
Monthly rates and pay-as-you-go payment options will still be available, as well as a brand new 6-month pass.
What are you waiting for? Go grab a SoBi bicycle and get your ride on, Hamilton!
For more information, go to the Hamilton Bike Share website.