Report to Winnipeg council recommends no mandatory bike licencing

A report to be delivered to a city council committee next week is asking council to not implement a plan to make bicycle registration mandatory at the time of purchase.Back in January, the committee asked the Public Service to consult with a number of stakeholders and find out the challenges and benefits of mandatory registration.Meetings with 21 bicycle retailers, three bicycle organizations, and the Winnipeg Police Service were held.Story continues below

The majority of retailers said they do not support mandatory registration. The reasons given include the concern of collecting personal information from customers and transmitting registration information to the city, as well as the time it would add to the workload of staff.READ MORE: Winnipeg EPC set to pass bike registrationPolice also said they would prefer the registration to be done on a voluntary basis, suggesting it would add barriers to cycling and place a burden on retailers.The city currently has a voluntary bicycle registration program, but less than 10 per cent of the 1,000 or so recovered bikes each year are returned to their rightful owners.READ MORE: How to prevent your bike from being stolenThe report also says it will explore enhancements to the current bike registry system, including working with retailers to improve the promotion of the current registry.Less than half of the 21 retailers said they promote the current registry, according to the report.Other Canadian cities were also surveyed and any prior mandatory registration or licensing programs in those places have been discontinued because they say the costs outweigh the potential benefits of the program.The report will be presented at the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks meeting on May 22.WATCH: Winnipeg bike thefts showing no sign of slowing