University of Waterloo supporting launch of community-wide bike share pilot

Friday, May 17, 2019

Need to get across campus in a hurry? Want to make your public transit connection easier? Looking to swing to Uptown for lunch?

The University of Waterloo is excited to announce the launch of a campus-wide bike sharing program that will enable these and more trips across campus and the community.

Dropbike bikeWaterloo has signed an agreement with Dropbike to operate a bike sharing service on campus, beginning the week of May 20. The program is also launching as a region-wide pilot, so that the bikes can travel seamlessly on and off campus between any of the network hubs.

Bikes can be rented out at affordable rates on an hourly basis using the Dropbike smartphone app for IOS and Android devices. The app allows users to locate nearby bikes and unlock a bike to start a trip. All of the technology is on the bike.

“We are excited to launch the Dropbike service,” says Mat Thijssen, the University of Waterloo’s Sustainability Manager. “With ION launching and continual improvements to local transit, micro-mobility solutions like bike sharing are an important tool to help solve the ‘first and last mile problem’ and enable more sustainable travel choices.”

Waterloo will start with three campus “hubs” for bikes, at DC, STC, and DWE. Over the coming weeks, this will expand to a network of 10-15 hubs across campus, with up to 100 bikes.

The Dropbike model allows for program flexibility, as bikes can be returned to any of the hub locations on or off-campus, or locked to an appropriate existing bike rack if a hub is too far away.

To end a trip, the app requires a user to take a picture of the bike parked in a hub or locked to an appropriate bike rack within the service area. This discourages bikes from being brought indoors or discarded on roads and walkways. Users will be warned through the app if they do not park their bike in an appropriate location.

“I am thankful for many partners who helped enable the service, including Grounds, Parking, and the local municipalities and Region of Waterloo,” says Thijssen.

The program pilot will run until October.

For more information, visit the Sustainability Office’s Transportation page, or visit the Dropbike website.

Questions about the on-campus stations can be directed to

Any technical concerns, usage issues, or other troubleshooting can be directed to Dropbike’s customer support team through the app or at