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Frequently Asked Questions

I have received a blue bike card. What do I do now?

Your blue bike card will not work until you: 

Complete your registration and fill out an Introductory survey. In this form, you will agree to the HBSI terms of service, provide your blue card number and choose a 4 digit PIN (personal identification number). 

Once this is complete we will call you to conduct your mandatory Bike Share Basics workshop that follows the ERI Rider Toolkit

When is the ERI open?

Due to COVID-19 we are working remotely and our office is closed.

We are open Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm. Closed on weekends. Drop-In hours are Monday - Friday 1pm - 6pm. These are the best hours to reach us. 

I don’t have a phone. How do I contact the ERI team?

Email Theron at [email protected] to help activate your card.

English is not my preferred language to communicate in. What should I do?

I need to contact the ERI team to activate my card. 

The ERI has access to a multilingual translation service that we use to talk with you over the phone.

A live translator will be on the call to help us answer any questions you might have about your pass. We will put a note on your account that mentions you prefer this particular language to speak with us, and will use the translation line to speak with you if we ever need to communicate with you about pass renewals and infractions. 

How do I sign out a bike?

The text version follows below the images.

STEP 1: When you come up to a bike the screen will be blank. PRESS AND HOLD ANY KEY to wake the bike up.

STEP 2: When you see the screen "Enter your acc#", TAP YOUR CARD over the keys.

STEP 3: "Enter your PIN" press the keys firmly and quickly and WAIT for the stars to appear in the boxes. Be patient, and press the "X" button to erase numbers if needed. 

STEP 4: Remove the U-Bar from the bike to unlock it.

STEP 5: Place the U-Bar in the holster. The U-Bar rests here in the bike while you ride.

What do I do if I tap my card but the screen does not change to ask me for my PIN?

Please try your card on another bike. This issue may be the bike and not your card. 

If you have tried more than one bike go here to learn more about why your card is not working.

Call the ERI team at 289-768-2453 (ext 2) between 10-6 PM Monday-Friday. If we do not answer please leave a voicemail and we will get back to you. Or email us at [email protected].

How do I find a bike near me? Is there a map of where they are?

Yes. If you go to Hamilton Bike Share’s website, you can see the system map if you scroll down the page. The map is live, which means it is constantly being updated with bike locations. There is a guide to what each colour on the map means in the bottom right corner of the map. 

Green pins represent where bike stations are, and how many bikes are in them. Blue pins are bikes that are locked to things that are not stations, like poles. Grey pins are bike stations that have no bikes in them currently. 

How do I lock up a bike properly?

Thank you for asking! It is important to lock bikes up properly to keep bikes safe and to avoid infractions that could freeze your account. 

  1. When you are finished riding a bike, the best place to lock it is to a blue bike hub.  
  2. You can also lock a bike out-of-hub to a secure object, like a bike rack or pole that is on public property. You can do this 10 times a month.
  3. Once you have found a bike station or a secure object to lock the bike to, pull the u-bar from the holster, wrap it around the station or secure object, and slide the u-bar fully into the bike.
  4. Make sure you wait a few seconds after sliding the u-bar into the bike to make sure it is locked properly. The screen should say “Thank You”. 
  5. Do you hear a beeping noise? Take another look at the u-bar, and jiggle it while pushing it into the bike to lock the bike all the way.

I rode a bike, but I had problems with it! It was harder to ride than it should be. What should I do?

If your bike had any issues while riding, such as gears not shifting properly or seats moving even when fully clamped, we would be very grateful if you reported the bike to us when you are finished riding so we can fix it. 

To report a bike in repair: 

  1. Lock up the bike properly to a station or secure object, and wait for the “Thank You” screen to show up. 
  2. When the “Thank You” screen shows up, there will be an option at the bottom of it that says “Repair”. Press the button underneath the option for Repair.
  3. The bike screen will ask you what kind of issue you had with the bike. Choose the number of the option that best suits what you had issues with, and press the number key for that option. 
  4. The bike will say Thank You, and a small orange light will turn on. This means no one else can use the bike until the bike share team picks it up. 

If you are having issues putting the bike in repair call 289-768-2453. 

I need to run an errand with the bike and would like to ensure the bike will still be available to me when I am finished. What can I do?

It is always best to lock up a bike when you have finished using it. If there is a hub nearby to your errand, this is the best place to lock up, a different bike will then be there for you to use.

Each bike has a hold  feature, this keeps the bike reserved for you while you complete a quick errand. While the bike is on hold  it uses your ride time, therefore, cutting into your 3 hours per day. For example, if you ride for 30 minutes and then you use the hold feature for 15 minutes, that is 45 minutes of ride time used.

 

How to place a bike on hold:

  1. Find a bike station or secure public object to lock the bike to, like a city bike rack or a pole.
  2. Before you lock the bike, locate the hold feature on the lower section of the bike’s screen. Press it.
  3. Lock the bike.
  4. If you have locked the bike up correctly, the screen will change and start a timer counting down from 60 min. 

 

If you are unable to get back to the bike, the hold will end after 60 min. You will not be able to sign out another bike until this 60 min is complete.

How to unlock a bike on hold:

  1. Press unlock: enter your PIN. 
  2. Slide-out the u-bar, put it in the holster, and you are ready to ride.

What will happen when my pass expires?

Before your pass expires, the ERI team will contact you to see what you want to do next. If you want to keep riding- and we hope you do!- we can tell you about our other subsidized pass options. To learn more about our pass option review the ERI Subsidy Ladder.

 

Remember, a Tandem Pass (received through an organization) expires after 6 months and a Pedal and 5&Roll Pass will expire after 12 months. 

I don’t ride bikes in winter, but don’t want to lose my pass. What can I do?

We offer options to “pause” your pass. This will reserve your pass for you without any penalties. 

 

At any time, you can reach out to us if you expect you will not use your pass for a period of time and we will pause your pass. If you tell us when you want to be contacted again to ride, we will make a note of it on your file. If we contact you first about potentially pausing your pass for winter, we will reach out to you in spring if you choose to do so.

Hamilton Bike Share remains in operation through the winter and many riders bike through all seasons! Winters in Hamilton can be mild and major bike lanes are usually cleared first by snowplows.

My card is not working, even after I try it on multiple bikes. What’s wrong?

There are 2 main reasons a card might not be working: 

 

  1. Your account is frozen due to too many infractions. ERI accounts automatically freeze with $30 in charges. Or,
  2. Your account is temporarily suspended because we need to speak with you about an infraction on your account. The ERI team has suspended your pass temporarily. We do this when we need to reach you and have been unsuccessful with your phone or email. 

 

To reactivate your account, you must speak with an ERI team member. 

Call the ERI team at 289-768-2453 (ext 2) between 10-6 PM Monday-Friday. If we do not answer please leave a voicemail and we will get back to you. Or email us at [email protected].

Where do I pay for the pass? How much do I have to pay, and how often?

Due to COVID-19 our office is closed to the public and our team is working remotely.

During COVID-19, our passes are fully subsidized. This removes the need for ERI riders to renew their passes in person at our office.

 

A Tandem Passes are free, Pedal Passes are $3/3 months and 5&Roll Passes are $5/month. Go here to review the ERI Subsidy Ladder with all our pass types.

 

I read about ride credits in my ERI Rider Toolkit. What are those and how can I earn them?

To earn a ride credit, return out-of-hub bikes to any Hamilton Bike Share bike hub.

A ride credit is a dollar amount that accumulates on your HBSI account balance. These credits can be used later towards your pass renewals and account fees. 

 

When you sign out a bike from outside a bike hub and return it to a HBSI bike hub you earn $0.75 on Tandem and Pedal Passes and $1.00 on 5&Roll. 

This means that you can incur a positive balance on your bike share account. When the ERI team charges for pass renewals again, we will take the renewal fee out of your ride credits you’ve earned. We have a few riders who have hundreds of ride credits and do not feel the financial impact of their bike share pass renewals. 

Earning ride credits is a great way to create financial security within the ERI and on your account. Review the ERI Subsidy Ladder to learn more about the pass types and ride credits. 

You can also use the HBSI bike map to locate out-of-hub bikes and return them to HBSI hubs. The blue pins that you see in the map are all out-of-hub bikes that are available to sign out.

What are bike infractions?

There are some fees that are charged to your account based on your usage, these are also called infractions. As an ERI rider, you are not required to pay for these infractions the ERI covers them for you. It is important that you do your part to keep these infractions low, if your infractions are consistent and without change, your account will be revoked. 

  • $1.00 for locking a bike out-of-hub
  • $0.09 every minute over your 3 hour ride time per day
  • $25.00 for locking a bike outside of the service area
  • Not locking the bike properly

We provide you with 10 out-of-hub locks per month, after that your account is charged and you are responsible. Accounts automatically freeze at $30 in charges. 

If you have repeated infractions and conversations with the ERI team with no change to your bike behavior we will have to revoke your pass. 

You must ALWAYS lock a bike to a secure object, HBSI bike hub, city bike rack, or pole. If you do not your pass will be revoked and will not be able to use bike share. It is important that we all care for the bikes so that the bike share community can use the bikes.