Cycling the neighbourhoods in Waterloo Ontario? Take a C.A.B.
Transportation for people living in Waterloo Ontario is varied: cars, bicycles, city busses, scooters and even the occasional horse and buggy share the roads around Waterloo. Recently, The Working Centre added another program to help you get around the neighbourhoods in Waterloo Ontario in a fashion that’s better for you and better for the planet. The program also encourages physical exercise and community spirit that is accessible to all ages.
What is C.A.B.?
C.A.B stands for Community Access Bikeshare, a program where members can “borrow” a bike for a few hours at a time. The bikes are stored at convenient locations throughout Kitchener and Waterloo. Here’s how it works: scan your membership card at the depot, and a bicycle will be unlocked for you. You can then ride the bike for a few hours anywhere in the neighbourhoods in Waterloo Ontario, or beyond. When you’re finished, return the bike to anyone of the depots, lock it up and you’re done. The Working Centre has a terrific video on their website that explains the process step by step. They also provide a map of the locations of their depots: www.theworkingcentre.org/cab
Who’s using the bike share? Workers in Uptown Waterloo who don’t want to take their cars out of paid parking to grab lunch, for starters. Mass transit commuters benefit from not having to mount their own bike on the front of a bus, they can simply use a C.A.B. during the day if they need to get around town or campus. Others that benefit are university students who only live here part of the year (especially those who live abroad) and want to supplement bike trips with their daily city bus rides. Errands and visits to the busier parts of town are easier with a bike, especially for people living in Waterloo who struggle to find time to get a work out in.
Why is C.A.B. important to Waterloo?
Community bike share advocate Jane Snyder from the Working Centre has this to say about why Waterloo is a perfect city for a bike share program: “Community Access Bikeshare is another tool that people can use to get where they need to go in Waterloo Region,” says Snyder. “Our members tell us that being bikeshare members allows them to have access to a bike without storing or maintaining one. Our members are also walkers, drivers and transit users!”
Snyder also points out how a bike share fits perfectly into Waterloo’s demographics: “Waterloo Region has many people who live here for short time periods, but still needs access to a bike. For example, they may be a co-op student who moves every 4 months and has trouble storing or maintaining a bike. As transit use grows in our region people are choosing to travel by bus, but want access to a bike for the beginning or the end of their transit trip. This need will only grow with the addition of the LRT!”
How much does it cost?
The annual (April to November) cost of membership which grants you unlimited access to bikes is $40.00. The Working Centre is committed to making the program affordable, and many members note that this price is much cheaper than a gym membership.
We hope to see this program grow, with more depots becoming available and a pay-as-you-go option for people who only want to use the service occasionally.