Rack-free bike share service U-bicycle rolls into Vancouver, plans massive expansion

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The bike share service U-bicycle, which features GPS-tracked bicycles members can park and retrieve anywhere, has moved its North American headquarters to Vancouver, and is at work on a multi-city expansion.

u-bicycle victoria
Lime-green shared bicycles from China-based U-bicycle have arrived in Victoria. Oct. 2, 2017 Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

U-bicycle launched in B.C. in Victoria in October 2017. Their launch fleet was 160 bicycles, and now they have added an additional 250 sets of wheels which will hit the streets in Victoria next month. U-bicycles come with GPS, three-level speeds, a carbon belt drive system, and helmets. Their new bikes are 10% lighter.

Users simply unlock and lock the bicycles through a smartphone app.

u-bicycle bike share vancouver
U-bicycle Canada/Facebook

Looking forward, U-bicycle has ambitions to open in over 100 North American cities, with a fleet of 780,000 bikes. Vancouver will be their operational base, and presumably among the first new cities to have U-bicycle service.

“We could not be more thrilled to open our North American HQ in Vancouver. We have seen great success in our Victoria operations, and we’d like to replicate the success in other cities,” CEO Grace Min of U- bicycle North America said.

“B.C.’s trade and investment representatives play an integral role in helping companies like U-bicycle bring innovative products and services to the market, creating jobs for people here in B.C.,” said Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston.

“Congratulations to U-bicycle on establishing its North American headquarters and we hope to see the company expand to more communities in B.C. and beyond.”

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom