Will the start-up bike share continue on campus?

Drive, walk, board, bike—there’s no shortage of ways to get around campus. Dropbike is an app-based bike-share system that doesn’t need bikes to be docked like the city of Toronto’s Bike Share program does.  

Those 18 and older pay a $49 deposit fee to locate an available bike using the phone app, and then receive a code to unlock and rent the bike for $1/hour. The technology on the bicycle then unlocks the back wheel and it can then be returned it to any “haven”—a bike post or rack around the city designated in the app.  

Dropbike’s CEO Qiming Weng was inspired to create Dropbike after his own bike was stolen and he was faced with the frustrating task of acquiring a new one. He states that his philosophy is based on similar practices in China, where movement around the city was made easier by the ability to hop on and off of bikes almost anywhere.  

On June 15th, Dropbike partnered with UTSU to create a summer pilot program. In this pilot, bikes could only be used around UTSG to create a safe and convenient mode of transportation around campus.  

For UofT, it’s evident that an affordable way to get around will help promote healthy lifestyles, eco-friendly living, and more efficient means of travel. Weng believes that Dropbike at UofT showcases the new method of ridesharing. 

As of now, the future of Dropbike is uncertain, as UTSU has not released word on whether or not their partnership will extend into the new year. It was originally scheduled to run only into the fall. The simplicity of this system is surely one that UofT will want to encourage and integrate into campus life. 

Photo | Hana Nikčević