Vélo–Vanier is primarily a bike-share program which loans bikes to the residents of Vanier. Its strength has been its capacity to bring donors, borrowers, volunteers and service agencies together to sustain the program over seven years. It is a bilingual program, headquartered in the heart of the community at the Centre des services communautaire Vanier (CSCV).
Anyone with proof of a K1L postal code can borrow from a fleet of 135 bicycles on Wednesdays (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and Fridays (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.) from May through September. Vélo–Vanier loans bikes, locks and helmets for a period of a month, with an opportunity to renew. Other initiatives include group bike outings, training for safe-cycling, maintenance workshops, a “Learn-to-Ride” program for newcomers and cargo bike rides at community gatherings.
These activities have been captured and uploaded to an online photo album at https://tinyurl.com/ydd5792z. One popular aspect of the program is that each individual borrower has his or her photograph taken with the borrowed bike. The printed photos are laminated and displayed in the lobby of the community centre over the summer, before being given to the respective borrowers when they return the bikes.
In addition to promoting recycling, active living and safe, green transportation, Vélo–Vanier has used its fleet of bicycles to engage residents of all ages to see themselves as members of the community and to become more involved in it. That has become our measure of success.