Program cuts bike theft by 60 per cent on Granville Island, encouraging two-wheeled traffic

Vancouver, BC (September 22, 2016) – The broad-based partnership program Operation Rudy, established to cut down bicycle theft on Granville Island, has had stunning results. The multi-faceted program has reduced bike thefts on the Island by 60 per cent over the summer months with an astounding 80% drop in the month of August alone.

Developed by CMHC – Granville Island, Project 529, The City of Vancouver, The Vancouver Police Department, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (B.E.S.T.), Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and several Island businesses, the initiative launched on July 25. Its key strategies were to provide easy bicycle storage and registration, improve cyclists’ security habits through information and loaner locks, apprehend bicycle thieves through the VPD Bait Bike program, and position more racks in the open to deter thefts.

“Granville Island reported a bike theft nearly every day in August of 2015, and this August experienced only one bike theft each week,” says J. Allard of Project 529. “We are thrilled with these results and feel that this represents a real sea change for bicycle security on Granville Island.”

“This huge decrease in thefts shows we’re on the right track,” says Scott Fraser, Granville Island’s Marketing & Communications Officer. “Working with our partners, we’re making a real difference in the cycling community, and we fully intend to keep up the good work.”

The initiative’s successes include: 

  • More than 10,000 bikes were parked with the island’s Bicycle Valet service, operated by B.E.S.T.  The free service offered monitored bicycle storage to cyclists, seven-days-a-week, June 11 through Labour Day.
  • 1,400 bikes were registered with Project 529’s modern, easy, free bicycle registration service, 529 Garage, operating in conjunction with the Bicycle Valet. Many municipal police departments, including the Vancouver Police Department, recommend this system. Cyclists can register their own bike with 529 Garage at any time through their website
  • More than 100 people per month borrowed top-of-the-line ABUS Bordo folding locks (free of charge) through the Loaner Lock program created by Project 529 and lock manufacturer ABUS. Granville Island businesses supporting the ongoing Loaner Lock program include: Cats Social House, Granville Island Brewing Taproom, Off the Tracks Café, A Bread Affair, False Creek Community Centre, and The Keg.
  • The Vancouver Police Department’s Bait Bike program on the Island resulted in six arrests.
  • 64 new bicycle spaces were created in higher visibility spots outside the Public Market for safer bike parking.

The initiative also encompassed educational signs posted on bike racks throughout the Island, reminding cyclists to lock their bikes properly, and Bait Bikes placed by the Vancouver Police Department to catch and deter thieves.

The Operation Rudy Team at Granville Island.

About Operation Rudy
Operation Rudy is a broad-based partnership to address bicycle security and access on Granville Island. The partners include: Granville Island, The Vancouver Police Department, The City of Vancouver, Project 529, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (B.E.S.T.), Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and several Granville Island businesses and organizations. “Rudy” is a persona who represents bicycle riders across the Lower Mainland. Although a victim of bicycle theft in the past, the experience has only made Rudy a more dedicated and vigilant cyclist. By investing in a good lock, taking the time to lock up properly, and registering bikes on 529 Garage, Rudy is making Granville Island one of the most bicycle-friendly places in Vancouver.

Media Contact:
Serena PR
Laura Serena or Morgan Sommerville

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