Laying the Foundations for Successful Bike Share Solutions in Ottawa

For Immediate Release
April 19, 2023

Existing and emerging micro-mobility solutions are essential to building a sustainable and integrated transportation system. A new research and stakeholder engagement project from EnviroCentre and the Ottawa Climate Action Fund, an initiative of the Ottawa Community Foundation, aims to explore the potential of a successful future Bike Share program in Ottawa, which would contribute to a more sustainable and equitable transportation system in the region. 

Active transportation company Alta Planning + Design has been contracted to conduct research and engage stakeholders to assess how effective bikeshare practices could be best applied in Ottawa to address local needs and priorities. The project will include compiling best practices, learnings from previous programs (in Ottawa and beyond), and industry innovations. Research findings will be shared with regional stakeholders and will inform Ottawa’s bike share and micro mobility program design considerations. The research will culminate in a report and presentation to share with regional stakeholders this fall, and will be used to inform potential bike share and micro-mobility program design considerations.

Why a Bike Share?

As transportation accounts for about 45% of Ottawa’s GHG emissions, micro-mobility solutions play a key role in reducing emissions by easily connecting people with a variety of more sustainable ways to get around. Whether people commute, run simple errands, or visit the Nation’s Capital, a Bike Share program would promote and encourage zero-carbon micro-mobility transportation choices.

Here in Ottawa, a Bike Share program would support an efficient, convenient, and equitable transportation system that maximizes returns on investments in transit and provides affordable transportation options for all, including the needs of low-income Ottawans.  

There are a variety of successful Bike Share program models operating in Canada and around the world that provide compelling examples of local benefits including health, environmental, economic, and zero-carbon mobility options. In Hamilton, the city’s publicly funded bike share, and its associated Everyone Rides initiative, have helped eliminate barriers that prevent people from accessing bikes for transportation and fun by providing subsidized bike share memberships. In Toronto, bike share riders have eliminated about 4000 tons of CO2 in 2022, and shared micro-mobility solutions have become an essential part of the City’s climate plans.

Quotes & Facts

“With Ottawa’s important investments in light rail, a Bike Share program that connects residents to transit is key to maximizing return on investments in public transit and providing rapid and reliable options to access key transit hubs.” – Steve Winkelman, Executive Director, Ottawa Climate Action Fund.

A recent review of shared micro-mobility programs across North America showed that 37% of bike or scooter share trips replaced a car trip – offsetting approximately 54 million pounds of CO2 emissions, and about 63% of North American shared micro-mobility users said they used micro-mobility options to connect to transit (NABSA, 2021).


EnviroCentre is an Ottawa-based environmental non-profit committed to helping Ottawa achieve its climate targets.

Ottawa Climate Action Fund is an initiative of the Ottawa Community Foundation, working to accelerate Ottawa’s transition to an equitable, carbon-neutral future.

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