Hillside Centre launches no-cost bike valet as demand grows

Shoppers who bike to the Hillside Center can now safely store their bikes with a new complimentary bike valet.

The shopping center launched the free service on Thursday (April 6) and will trial it for six months as demand for safe bike storage continues to grow.

Hillside marketing manager Michele Paget said the free valet parking program began shortly after Walmart opened its third store in greater Victoria at the center last June.

“When we opened Walmart, more people showed up with bicycles,” Paget told Victoria News. “We got a lot of comments asking for more bike racks – so we started thinking we could do a little better.”

It’s not just for bikes, though. Paget said bike attendants allow for other active modes of transportation, including scooters and strollers.

“It serves a lot of families around the Auckland area – we have a lot of people who come here on the weekends with kids in prams and trailers.”

Paget said three bike valets have been hired to run the pilot program, which is expected to cost between $30,000 and $50,000 over the next six months.

While the bike valet takes up four spaces in the parking lot facing Hillside Avenue, it also has room for 35 to 40 people to securely lock their bikes, scooters or strollers at no extra cost.

According to Paget, the service is currently operating Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, but hours are expected to be extended as greater Victoria enters the summer months.

Following a successful launch last year, the City of Victoria reinstated the free bike valet service at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Broad Street in March.

The service will run until Dec. 23, while Hillside’s pilot program will run until Sept. 30.

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