We were in Hamilton this weekend to take in a little PanAm Soccer. It’s been years since I’ve been downtown, and one of the brand new things is a bike share system. Although I didn’t ride any of the bikes, it was interesting to take a brief look at their bike, in comparison to the Bikeshare Toronto machines.
The main difference is that the racking system is very simple, and all the smart tech is carried on the bikes themselves. The bike is a basic aluminum framed city bike that is significantly lighter than the ex-Bixi bikes.
One quirk of the system is that each bike has a name. This one is named after one of my daughters.
According to the FAQ, if you signed up for a founding membership, you got to name a bike. Other bike names on the same rack were “Skeletor” and “Linus Blanket”.
You can read this early review of what it’s like to actually use this system.
The next time I’m in town for an extended visit, I’m going to have to check out all of the new bike infrastructure that has gone in all across town over the last five years. It’s surprising that these improvements have gone in despite the actions of a City Council that often seems more dysfunctional that our own here in Toronto. Thumbs up to the citizen advocates such as those that are behind Raise the Hammer for pushing a progressive agenda.
Update: a Toronto based article comparing the two cities bike share system, and liking Hamilton’s better.