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Bike Valet Service: Lowering Emissions and Increasing Community Connections

New Gold’s New Afton Mine is proud to support the City of Kamloops’ launch of their newest community asset – a Bike Valet Service Kit. This exciting collaboration is made possible by a donation of $23,500 from New Afton, the support of the City of Kamloops, the Kamloops Cycling Coalition (KCC), and the tireless dedication of staff and volunteers advocating for people-focused solutions to increasing the use of active transportation modes and reducing community emissions.  

The Bike Valet initiative has been years in the making. In 2019, the City of Kamloops and New Afton engaged in conversations on ways to align their energy and emissions reduction goals. New Afton has a strong corporate culture of integrity and teamwork, and finding a creative initiative that supports the City’s Community Climate Action Plan and Transportation Master Plan seemed like a natural fit.

The Bike Valet Kit consists of portable bike racks, tents and other supplies that can be borrowed by event organizers wanting to provide free, secure bike parking. “As e-bike use continues to grow – driven in part by their ability to reduce barriers to biking like topography and distance – we see the need and demand for secure bike parking increasing,” says Glen Cheetham, the City’s Climate and Sustainability Manager.

To ensure that the Bike Valet Service works not only in the community but for the community, the City of Kamloops engaged the KCC and other stakeholders to ensure that their vision was baked into the New Gold Community Investment Fund application. “A spin-off of a people-led solution to enhancing bike security is the community conversations it creates about cycling in Kamloops, hopefully fostering a commuter cycling culture that builds upon our love for recreational biking,” says Deb Alore, board member of the KCC. In 2022, the KCC initiated a pilot program that saw Bike Valet Services popping up at events like RibFest, BrewLoops and Canada Day at Riverside Park. The success of these pilots signaled that the community was receptive to seeing more of this service in the community.

Energy and emissions management is top of mind for the City of Kamloops, with a target of reducing community emissions by 30% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. According to the City’s Community Climate Action Plan, 66% of community emissions are from motor vehicles, making safe, connected, and accessible bicycle transportation   a key priority of the Community Climate Action Plan and Transportation Master Plan.

New Afton is driven by a belief that host communities should benefit from their operations both in the short and long-term and investing in the Bike Valet Service Kit is just one demonstration of New Afton’s commitment to environmental stewardship. In 2021, New Afton received a AAA rating, the highest rating possible, during an external verification of their compliance with the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) Toward Sustainable Mining (TSM) Energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG Emissions Management Protocol.  More recently, New Afton’s Energy and GHG Management program was selected by MAC as the winner of the 2023 TSM Environmental Excellence Award. This award recognizes the significant achievements by New Afton, as a result of our energy and GHG management program over the past eleven years.

Spurred by New Gold’s donation, the City of Kamloops in partnership with the Youth Climate Corps will be operating the Bike Valet Service Kit Saturdays at the Kamloops Farmers Market for the 2023 season. As event season ramps up be sure to keep an eye out for the Bike Valet Service at events around Kamloops. To learn more about the Kamloops Bike Valet Service Kit, please contact sustainable@kamloops.ca.