Since my last entry, we were granted access to the existing fleet and have used them numerous times. I'm happy to report that some of my main concerns have been addressed. Much has changed!
First off, my map HERE has changed alot since earlier,.. some key stations were added in places right where I would like to see them. Unfortunately my map is now more of a record of where a station HAS been,.. but might not be now. This map shows all stations but what is currently open is only a subset of these.
- The helmet issue seems to be partially solved and indeed,.. only one helmet has been stolen so far which strikes me as amazing. The solution is to use the cable lock through the vent holes. The first time I saw this in use I saw a founding member lock through the strap so I wonder when the less savvy general populace starts using it,.. will there be more of that? There is still no solution for the cleaning or sanitary issue - we simply put on dirty helmets still.
- Stations in the DTES - Cordova and Abbot is pretty bold and pretty useful,.. I was worried I'd not get a station to use there where I'd not want to take my own bike
- Station at Arbutus and 10th - at least there are signs there might be stations for those of us not in the Downtown peninsula
- Generally good spread on downtown peninsula including temporary stations for the fireworks which was a concept I'd not though of. Key ones that come to mind at the ones near Stanley Park and St. Paul's,.. all well provisioned now.
- The bikes themselves seem more capable for hills than I had expected. It remains to be seen if they can handle Fairview slopes up to Broadway or 16th.
- Bird poop - some stations could have been under cover but instead were put in known bird poop central locations. South side of VPL and Granville and Georgia come to mind.
- Only 2 stations South of 8th St AT ALL. For me this will make or break if I use this. Currently my neighbourhood (a dense rental area already underserviced by parks, transit, and car shares due to parking and backing onto the rich neighbourhood) has nothing for 7 blocks in either direction. I think with this 150 stations planned within the "zone" the number should be max like 4 blocks and be targeted between transit options or it really isn't a great "alternative". We need something between Oak and Granville, between 10th and 16th.
- No clear messaging as to what stations are coming next, when, or even when we move from being in pilot mode to open to the public. I generally find MOBI PR lacking in useful information and if people knew about station locations,.. they might get more early sign-ups.