#SaveSobi – A Lifeline

Many of you in Hamilton took to a SoBi bike over the weekend. It was beautiful to see the splattering of blue at City Hall. This was done in protest of a decision by city council to store our social bicycles rather than the city taking over the operation temporarily until a new operator could be procured. All of this was in response to Uber notifying council of their decision to terminate their contract early.

Sobi app showing all the bikes being left at City Hall (out of hub)

Your voices were quiet, but the very visual protest was heard. We now have momentum, but our cycling network was still set to zero Monday with a message from Uber to members citing Covid-19 as the reasoning for the network going offline. Our voices were recognized, but our activism must continue until these bikes (which we own along with the hubs where they reside in our communities), light up green in our apps again. 

Email members received from Uber.

Our community came together this past weekend in a financial manner as well, having raised over $66K to date via a GoFundMe campaign started by local not-for-profit, Hamilton Bike Share. On Monday, we learned of a generous grant from Patrick J McNally for 100K, as well as $100K in other confirmed funders/sponsors – partnering businesses. 

A tweet from councillor Farr Monday morning about Sobi’s lifeline.

We raised funds, plugged the City Hall forecourt with SoBi bikes, showed support through emails, social media, articles, and opinion pieces, and worked hard to make sure the councillors heard us loud and clear. 

Today, council will once again review a temporary solution proposed by Hamilton BIke Share to keep Sobi running until a new management group can be procured, so let’s send a unified message to city hall, by emailing all of our councillors. I have made it easy by listing their emails below.

L to R: Sean Hurley, Erin Shacklette, Larry Pattison, Elizabeth Seidl, Catherine Johnston

Remember also that Terry Whitehead and Esther Pauls sit on the cycling Committee. From the words of a biking friend, “They need to use their actions, not their words to show they are huge fans of cycling – as they have indicated.”

#SoLongSobi has now become #SaveSobi We are not ready to throw in the towel.

The Sobi app signally all bikes are out of service.

We’ve made it easy for you to tell council how you feel, by listing all of the councillors and the Mayor’s in the block below.

Please send them a message. Let them know that you are in support of keeping Sobi going. Respectfully urge them to support the reconsideration motion by Councillors Merulla and Collins, which is to support Hamilton Bike Share taking over interim management of our Sobi bicycle network at no cost to council.

And that’s The Point.

Remembering Chris Parkinson on the 1 year anniversary of his passing.

You can copy all of the text from the below block, and paste it into your email’s To, CC, or BCC field to send an email to all of council and the mayor.


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