Future unclear for Hamilton’s bike share program as private operator backs out

These are uncertain times for Hamilton’s popular SoBi bike share program.

The city received a letter on Friday afternoon from Social Bicycles, which is owned by Uber, saying that it plans to stop operating the local bike share service on June 1.

It’s not clear why the company wants out of its contract, but the announcement could affect 17,000 rental users of the service.

General Manager of Planning and Economic Development Jason Thorne indicates that staff will be responding to Social Bicycles and Uber and reminding them of their contractual obligations.

Thorne notes that the City of Hamilton owns the bikes and stations, and has an agreement with Social Bicycles to operate the system at no cost to the city. The contract is not due to expire until Feb. 19, 2021.

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