How Bike Share Programs Leverage Public, Private Funds

Communities across the country are finding unique ways to fund bike share programs as residential demand for the amenities continues to rise


What Happened?

Communities across the country are finding unique ways to fund bike share programs as residential demand for the amenities continues to rise. A bike share program supports a more walkable municipality, which is highly desirable to young professionals.

Franklin

Franklin, Tennessee, recently won a $2 million grant to support a bike sharing program set to launch later this year. The grant was awarded to Franklin by the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization as part of its most recent initiative to support more active transportation project. The $2 million grant will account for 80 percent of the total cost, The Tennessean reported.

The Franklin bike sharing project will bring 150 bikes to 15 stations throughout the area in phase one. As the program progresses and more users participate, the city expects to add eight more stations to house an additional 80 bikes within three years. The grant for the program is available for a four-year period, The Tennessean reported.

Pittsburgh

A federal grant worth $500,000 will be used to launch a bike share program in Pittsburgh. The share system will import 500 German bicycles from Nextbike that will be distributed across 50 stations in the Downtown, North Side, South Side Flats, Oakland and East End neighborhoods, Trib Live reported.

Pittsburg received a $1.6 million federal highway safety grant to cover the cost of buying the equipment and installing the docking stations. Pittsburgh Bike Share Partnership has nearly matched the grant with $1.2 million from various foundations in the city, Trib Live reported.

Initially, bike share users in Pittsburgh would pay for hourly rentals with a credit card which would release the bicycle from a solar-powered stations. Looking long-term, foundations in Pittsburgh have agreed to support the bike share program indefinitely. This would create the first bike share program in the country that is offered to residents as a public service, not a profit generating endeavor, Trib Live reported.

University Campuses

Ohio State University is considering adopting a bike sharing program in light of increasing demand by students, faculty and staff. A recent survey revealed 79 percent of OSU faculty and staff would use the service, with even more demand from the student body, The Lantern reported.

The school anticipates installing 10 to 15 docking stations across campus that would house up to 150 bicycles total. Ohio State University has opened up the bidding to seven bike share companies to find the right match, The Lantern.

The University of Texas San Antonio has plans to expand its B-cycle bike share program in after the initial trial run proved successfully. Currently there are 55 stations in San Antonio, with plans to add nearly 24 more by the end of the year. The school is looking to make the bike sharing program a key component in a campaign to improve health and mobility among students, faculty and staff, Biz Journals reported.

The school is offering students, faculty and staff with a $25 semester pass for unlimited B-cycle rides on campus and at any other B-cycle station across the country. The B-cycle platform is common among college campuses and has become staples in cities such as Madison, Wisconsin; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado.

Sharing is Healthy

EfficientGov has reported extensively on the growing number of bike share programs across the country, many of which are a key component to a multimodal transportation strategy .

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