While up in Vancouver (WA) recently, I got a tour of the Northwest’s first pre-paid bike lockers. City of Vancouver transportation planner and BikeStation board member Todd Boulanger worked for over a year on the project and was excited to show them off.
The lockers work on a debit card system and cost just five cents an hour. For an average commuter that would be about $20 for six months of parking.
Todd, an unabashed Euro-phile who joined the Portland delegation on their recent trip to Amsterdam, first saw the lockers in Palo Alto two years ago, and is very happy to see them finally arrive in Vancouver. He also hopes to keep adding more of them across the region:
“In the future there could be a network of these lockers in this area that a bicyclist could use when at work, play or shopping.”
The pods themselves fit two bikes each and are built with see-through, metal mesh sides and a futuristic looking, blue bubble top They were paid for through state and federal grants totalling over $16,000.
There are currently ten of these lockers throughout downtown Vancouver and TriMet has plans to bring these to their Hollywood Transit Center when it is renovated this Fall.
Kudos to Todd for being such an urban cycling evangelist. These covered, reliable and secure “end-of-trip” facilities remove yet another barrier for would-be cyclists and encourage more people to ride instead of drive.