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Biggest Bike-Share Problems Facing Cities

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Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/21/2014 10:59:07 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: funding and long term costs/benefit
Well, it looks sadly as though the Montreal bike-share program has gone broke, with $50M in debt. I wonder whether it can survive at all.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
11/30/2013 7:02:03 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: funding and long term costs/benefit
Gotcha, Susan. That makes sense. Seems like Barcelona has a good model.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
11/29/2013 5:53:55 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: funding and long term costs/benefit
I should correct that, Mary. It's parking fees, not parking fines, that pay for Bicing. So drivers who park in the city center get to pay for the bike-share program. Seems like a good trade off. 

Bicing users also pay 45 euros a year membership fee. So that's another source of income.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
11/28/2013 1:22:31 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: funding and long term costs/benefit
Parking fine funding sounds sensible, Susan, but is there enough garnered in parking fees to cover the entire program?

New York City still stands as the best example of funding without public spending. that project has worked well with the sponsorship model, and demand has also been robust. I hope NYC isn't a one-off and that other cities can start to make bike-share successful too.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
11/28/2013 7:19:21 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: funding and long term costs/benefit
In Barcelona, Mary, the city funds the Bici bike share program through parking fines. Perhaps that makes it more palatable then just using straight up tax money. Although NYC's approach of full sponsorship and no public money at all is a smart move and calms the naysayers.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
11/28/2013 7:00:35 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: The problems aren't with bike sharing
The catch with individual bike ownership as opposed to the rental model is that the two offer quite different benefits.

If you can pick up a city bike, cycle 8 blocks and then drop it off without thinking further about it, that's a whole different scenario from always having to retrieve your bike from wherever you've left it. They cater to two different audiences.

At the same time, I think there's nothing wrong in encouraging and supporting bike owners. But I don't think one can readily substitute for the other.

Venks
Venks  
11/26/2013 8:55:16 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Bike share program
You have to go full force with it, I think, for it to really take off.



Hmmm, you are right Nicole. I can see your point here. And for that to happen I believe, you should have a demand first. Unless and until people are interested to take bikes onto roads, such a program can never be successful. Having said that, I feel the city administration should take it upon themselves and advertize the benefits of 'Bike Share Program' (let people know its effect on environment, traffic in the city, pollution, fuel-savage, etc) and encourage people to use bikes as much as possible.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/26/2013 11:50:19 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Bike share program
I don't know that every city will be as lucky as New York to have a private corporate sponsor for its bike share system. New York is high profile, making it worth Citi Bank's while, and $45 million. But will smaller, lesser-talked-about cities get the benefit of an interested corporate sponsor? I don't think so... even Boston's bike share system is funded by grants, I believe. But these sort of half-baked, low-on-bikes bike-share programs aren't going to work. You have to go full force with it, I think, for it to really take off.

Venks
Venks  
11/25/2013 10:15:02 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: The problems aren't with bike sharing
I've wondered why not just give subsidies to bike owners to purchase and use their own equipment instead of investing in a new infrastructure with such great risks of failure?



@kq4ym: I see a small problem with this approach. If subsidies are given to bike owners to purchase their own bikes they would buy one but the question is, Will they share their bike with others? Because then, there comes a sense of feeling for people that it is their own property and probably most people would refrain from sharing their OWN bike. Do you see my point?

Venks
Venks  
11/25/2013 9:40:58 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Bike share program
I am definately one among those who believe that bike share is crucial to the future of our cities. I dont know, but I would like to ask to the forum here, why not simply use the working model that is implied in other cities where bike share program has been highly successful?

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