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Frequently Asked Questions

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

Email us at ​​[email protected] or call 289-768-BIKE (ext 2) and we will help you activate your card. Please provide the 5-digit number in the top right corner on the back of your card.

Your blue bike card will not work until you: 

  • Review the ERI Rider Toolkit. This will provide you with an introduction to how bike share works and also the rules of your pass. 
  • Complete the introductory survey. The survey contains a few questions from the Rider Toolkit and is important to complete as the results help us support more people to access a subsidized pass.

After you have completed the survey, your account will be activated and you will receive an email notification.

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

Email [email protected] and we can help you!

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

The ERI has access to a multilingual translation service that we can 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: 
Download the free Social Bicycles (SoBi) app and log into your Hamilton Bike Share account. 
STEP 2: 
Scan the QR code on the back of the bike using the SoBi app or tap an RFID card associated with your Bike Share membership. 
STEP 3: 
Voila! The bike will unlock and you can remove the u-bar and place it in the holster.
Enjoy your ride, and you can end your trip the same way as before by using the u-bar to lock the bike to a secure object. 

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

Go to the ERI Map page or go to Hamilton Bike Share’s website, click on Map at the top of the page.

The map is live, which means it is constantly being updated with bike locations. There is a guide (or legend) that indicates 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. 

You can also see a live map of bike locations through the free Social Bicycles (SoBi) app.

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. Signing out and locking bikes to bike share hubs is free!  
  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. Never lock bikes to themselves. Doing this could result in a stolen or vandalized bike.
  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. Gently pull on the lock to make sure it is fully engaged, or use the SoBi app to check that your ride has ended.

When you lock a bike outside of a bike share hub your account will be charged $1. You can earn that $1 back to your account by returning the bike to a bike share hub. 

  • Learn more about earning ride credits on your account here
  • Learn more about infractions, fees, and charges to your account here.

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: 

  • Press the repair option in the SoBi app before you lock the bike. This will ensure that the bike is not available for others to ride until it is repaired and it flags it for Hamilton Bike Share staff.
  • Users can also report any additional issues by emailing [email protected]

If you are having issues putting the bike in repair call 289-768-2453 (ext 1).

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:

  • Find a bike station or secure public object to lock the bike to, like a city bike rack or a pole.
  • Before you lock the bike, locate the hold feature. Press and hold it until the light underneath flashes green and makes a sound.
  • Insert the u-bar into the bike, and lock the bike. There should be a green light below the hold button, as well as three green lights in the center of the controller. You can also check to make sure your bike is on hold through the free SoBi app.

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:

  • Press unlock. Tap your RFID card or scan the QR code with your phone. 
  • Pull out the u-bar, place it in the holster, and you are ready to ride.

What will happen when my pass expires?

Your pass is valid for 1 year. 

If you want to keep riding- and we hope you do!- you can renew your pass for $15 or use your ride credits. 

I'm already a rider, but my account or card has stopped working. What is 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 at $0 to ensure you will not incur additional charges for riding.


  1. Your account is temporarily suspended because we need to speak with you about an infraction on your account. We do this when we need to reach you and have been unsuccessful with your phone or email. 

To reactivate your account, please call 289-768-2453 (ext 1) or email [email protected].

Where do I pay for the pass? How much do I have to pay?

Our subsidized pass is $15/year (+HST). You can use a credit card or Visa debit card to sign up for the pass. 

If you do not have a credit or Visa debit card, please contact us and we can make alternate arrangements for you.

Go to the ERI Rider page to learn more and sign up online.

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 $1 in ride credits. 

This means that you can incur a positive balance on your bike share account. When it is time to renew your pass, 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.

You can 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 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
  • $0.15 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

Accounts automatically freeze when your ride credit balance reaches $0. 

If you have repeated infractions and conversations with the ERI team with no change to your bike behaviour 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.

What do the lights on the bikes mean?


3 green lights: The bike is available and ready to be rented.

Flashing lights: The lock is ready to be removed. After tapping your RFID card or scanning the QR code, the lights will flash indicating that the lock can be removed.

1 single green light: The bike is in a ride.

Where is the Adaptive Bike hub?

The adaptive bike hub is located in Gage Park, near the west corner of the parking lot by the tennis courts. Look for a shipping container with a beautifully painted mural by artist Lester Coloma!

To learn more about the adaptive bike hub and our programming, click here.

I signed up on the website and/or completed the survey, but my account still says “pending”. What should I do?

Email us at ​​[email protected] or call 289-768-BIKE (ext 2) and we will help you activate your account.

When is the adaptive bike hub open? How can I ride an adaptive bike?

The adaptive bike is currently open by appointment. Fill out our adaptive bike program registration to set up an appointment, or contact us directly at [email protected] / 289-768-BIKE (ext. 2).

I don’t have a smartphone. How do I get an RFID access card to unlock bikes?

RFID access cards are available for pick up at the following locations during their regular opening hours:

  • Downtown Bike Hounds (19 John St N)
  • 541 Eatery (541 Barton St E)
  • New Hope Community Bikes (1249 Main St E)
  • Freewheel Cycles (9 King St W, Dundas)
  • Adaptive Bike Hub (Gage Park) - by appointment only. Please email [email protected] or call 289.768.2453 (ext 2) to set up a time.

Once you have picked up your card, contact Hamilton Bike Share Support with the 5 digit number on the back right corner of your card to connect it to your account.

If you are not able to make it to any of these pick up locations, we may be able to arrange a card drop-off to your mailbox. Contact us at [email protected] or call 289.768.2453 (ext 2) to make arrangements.