Puget Sound Bike Share Selects Alta Bicycle Share as Operator/Vendor for Regional System
Phase I to Launch in Spring 2014
April 23, 2013 – Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations, announced today that it has selected Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share as its operator/vendor. Alta will work with PSBS to plan, launch and sustain a regional bike share network beginning with approximately 500 bikes and 50 stations in Seattle and eventually expanding into other areas of the Puget Sound region. One of the most experienced bike share companies in North America, Alta is the vendor/operator behind the highly successful Capital Bike Share in Washington D.C. and Boston’s Hubway. In the coming months, Alta will launch Citibike in New York City, the largest bike share network in the nation, as well as systems in Chicago, Vancouver, B.C., Portland and San Francisco.
Puget Sound Bike Share announced the selection of Alta in a posting on its Facebook page. In the note, executive director Holly Houser wrote:
“We have been and continue to be impressed with Alta’s approach to bike share and their ability to partner with cities and successfully deliver location-specific systems. Alta is able to address a number of the Seattle’s unique challenges, offering innovative solar technology, 7-speed bikes and an integrated helmet vending solution. Alta brings the experience and state of the art equipment to operate a bike share network that meets revenue goals and appeals to users with intuitive design and top notch service.
Bike share systems in world class cities from Paris to London to Washington D.C. have become instantly iconic symbols of vibrant and progressive urban centers. It’s our turn now. Bike sharing belongs here.
This is a huge milestone for us, and with state and federal grants pending, we are ready to actively pursue a title or presenting corporate sponsor. This is a rare and exceptional opportunity for a visionary partner to support and associate themselves with a transformative community-wide program.”
Puget Sound Bike Share would not exist without support and guidance from local government leaders, including King County Metro, the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, the City of Kirkland, the City of Redmond, Puget Sound Regional Council, Washington Department of Transportation and supporters and advisers at University of Washington, Seattle Children’s, Cascade Bicycle Club, Microsoft and REI.
According to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, “Bike share provides residents and visitors with more transportation options. This is a solution for our region that will not only make it easier to get around and improve health, but based on what’s happened in other cities, permanently changes the way people experience their community. It’s a really exciting thing for Seattle. Our city is known for our natural beauty and great neighborhoods. Now people will have more options for get to both.”
“Bike sharing, like car sharing, will work to reduce the need for personal automobiles.” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Puget Sound Bike Share and Alta can give people more options to keep our urban areas moving in a cost-effective way.”
Puget Sound Bike Share will now enter into contract negotiations with Alta, with a goal beginning launch preparations in early summer.
Puget Sound Bike Share Kicks Off Search for Bike Share Operator/Vendor
Issues “Request for Proposals” from qualified operator/vendors to develop, install, and operate a bike share network in King County
Seattle, WA – Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) inviting qualified bike share operator/vendors to compete for business deploying and operating a bike share network in the Puget Sound area. Identifying a bike share operator/vendor marks a major milestone for the progress of the nonprofit partnership.
Puget Sound Bike Share Executive Director Holly Houser explained the importance of the RFP by saying, “It’s thrilling to get to this point. The $750,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation covers some of our Phase I launch, but we can’t deliver a complete program without the partnership of major players in our community. With our operator/vendor in place we can begin making commitments on naming rights, station placement, and the other benefits to corporations, individuals or foundations that are interested in sponsoring bike share.”
Experienced bike share network operator/vendors can request instructions to download the RFP from firstname.lastname@example.org. Puget Sound Bike Share will review proposals and make a final decision on a bike share operator/vendor in mid-March 2013. The operator/vendor will develop, install, and operate the network with a target to launch Phase I in spring 2014.
Puget Sound Bike Share has been steadily growing and building support in the region. In December, the Washington State Department of Transportation recommended that King County receive a $750,000 grant for the purchase and installation of stations in the University District neighborhood. Puget Sound Bike Share has begun discussions with municipal leaders, developers, advocates and community planners on incorporating bike share stations into their designs and beginning a process for integrating stations to city streets.
“A few years ago a handful of community leaders began planning a bike share network in King County,” said Houser. “They transformed an idea into a nonprofit organization that is now very close to making bike share a reality. It is a testament to their dedication to proven innovations, and the enthusiasm of this community for healthy, low-impact transportation options that we are ready to take this step. The members of our board and the community that supports them deserve our congratulations and gratitude for getting us this far.”
Puget Sound Bike Share One Step Closer to Launching with Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Grant
Grant would help fund first phase of regional bike share system
December 17, 2012
Seattle, WA – The Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program has recommended that King County Metro Transit receive a grant of $750,000 to fund Puget Sound Bike Share’s initial construction of a regional bike share network. The grant recommendation comes as Puget Sound Bike Share begins recruiting corporations, nonprofits, foundations and individuals to sign on as bike share sponsors.
“This grant recommendation comes at a critical time. The grant would allow Puget Sound Bike Share to begin construction on a bike share network that will improve urban travel while fulfilling state health and safety goals,” said Puget Sound Bike Share executive director Holly Houser. “The recommendation also sends a signal to other potential funders in the region that bike share is moving forward. We appreciate the consideration of the Washington State Legislature and look to the larger Puget Sound community to join this effort to make our communities more vibrant and active with bike share.”
If approved by the Legislature in 2013, the grant will fund construction costs for approximately 12-15 bike share stations in the University District, a key target neighborhood for the Phase 1 launch of a regional bike sharing program. Grant funding will be matched by in-kind donations from King County and the City of Seattle as well as in-kind and direct investment funds from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s. Puget Sound Bike Share will rely on a combination of corporate sponsorships as well as federal, local and state grants to fund construction and implementation of the broader network.
“A bike share network is the sort of catalyst that can jumpstart a virtuous circle of activity and growth,” said Josh Kavanagh, Director of UW Transportation Services. “At the University District level, just 37% of the employed population owns a car, compared to 84% citywide. This makes our area, along with many other popular urban destinations, an excellent market base for an affordable, convenient, and safe new transportation option. We are thrilled to have support from Washington State and local partners to launch bike share in our region.”
In early 2013, Puget Sound Bike Share expects to release a “Request for Proposals” for vendors qualified to operate a bike share network.
Link to Washington State Department of Transportation’s report to the Washington State Legislature: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/A4F69DAF-4044-49A3-834F-86036BD5AF20/0/Final201315HLPGrantProgramsReporttoLegislature2012December3.pdf.
Puget Sound Bike Share Hires its first Executive Director,
Adds REI to Board of Directors
Board Includes Microsoft, Seattle Children’s, University of Washington, Cascade Bicycle Club and Local Agencies
November 15, 2012
Seattle, WA – Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, continues to build momentum for regional bike sharing by hiring its first executive director and adding an REI representative to its board of directors.
Puget Sound Bike Share’s new executive director Holly Houser will lead a private sector fundraising campaign, facilitate a “request for proposals” process with bike share vendor companies and collaborate with King County, the City of Seattle and others to receive federal, state and other grant funds for bike sharing.
“We need major sponsors to make bike sharing a reality in our region,” said Ref Lindmark, president of the Puget Sound Bike Share Board. “Holly will help us channel interest in bike sharing and enthusiasm for improving communities into lasting partnerships that will launch and sustain the program.”
A native of Seattle, Ms. Houser has a strong background in project organization and management, as well as community relations. Most recently, she served as Director of Operations for a local real estate development firm and in 2008, co-founded Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building positive self-esteem in girls and encouraging creative expression through music. Ms. Houser said, “Bike sharing is a flexible alternative for connecting people to work, school, retail, transportation hubs and entertainment destinations. It’s a great fit for our region and I’m thrilled to work with local companies, community groups, and supporters to bring bike sharing to our region.”
The Puget Sound Bike Share also expanded its board of directors to add local outdoor retailer and bike sharing supporter, REI. Upon joining the board of directors, Kara Stone, REI flagship Seattle store general manager said, “PSBS provides a much needed network that connects people to the places they want to be via a carbon free mode of transportation. This program is an ideal blend of environmental stewardship, public health, community building and just plain efficient design.”
Follow Puget Sound Bike Share on Twitter @PSBikeShare, Facebook or visit www.pugetsoundbikeshare.org.
Puget Sound Bike Share Seeks Executive Director
Assignments to include private sector fundraising and recruiting a bike share vendor partner for the region
August 1, 2012
Seattle, WA – The Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, is accepting applications for the position of executive director. Immediate assignments for the executive director will include leading a private sector fundraising campaign and facilitating a “request for proposals” process with bike share vendor companies. For a full job description and to submit an application, please visit www.pugetsoundbikeshare.org.
Bike sharing is an increasingly popular and flexible service that extends the reach of public transportation and makes urban trips faster and more convenient. According to a June 2012 report by the Minetta Transportation Institute, as of January 2012 there were 15 technology-supported bike sharing operators in the U.S., claiming 172,070 users and sharing 5,238 bicycles. Cities of all sizes and geographic diversity, including Minneapolis, Charlotte, Kansas City, Boston, Denver, Boulder, Chattanooga, San Antonio, Houston, and Anaheim have added bike sharing to their regional transportation options.
A Minetta Transportation Institute survey of bike share users in four cities found that the majority of riders use bike share to travel to school or work. The second and third most common reasons for bike share trips are for entertainment or social purposes, and running errands.
In a January 2012 business plan prepared for the Puget Sound Bike Share, analysts determined that the region’s culture, its growing need for urban transportation options, and the desire for a vibrant, connected community indicated that bike share could be a transformative and successful addition to the region’s transportation options.
The business plan identified preliminary options for placement of bike kiosks, a schedule for rolling out various phases, potential pricing, and strategies for successful operation in the region. The final deployment of the bike share kiosks and bikes will follow a collaborative process with the community, the bike share vendor and Puget Sound Bike Share.
Bike share programs are typically funded through a mix of private sector sponsorships, membership fees paid by users, and public sector grants. Significant assignments for the Puget Sound Bike Share executive director will be to secure private sector sponsorships and to collaborate with King County, the City of Seattle and others to receive federal, state and other grant funds to bring bike sharing to our region.
Public bike sharing has progressed from the early programs in Europe to the Portland Yellow Bikes in 1994. These programs were very popular; however, they turned out to be unsustainable due to theft and vandalism. In the last few years, bike share programs using technology and creative marketing have flourished, and with the advent of the Velib bike share program in Paris, bike sharing is now embarking on rapid expansion.
Some of the more well known programs include:
- Velib in Paris en.velib.paris.fr
- Barclay’s Cycle Hire in London www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx
- Bixi Bike Share in Montreal montreal.bixi.com
- Capital Bike Share in Washington D.C. www.capitalbikeshare.com
- Nice Ride Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul www.niceridemn.org
- Denver B Cycle in Denver denver.bcycle.com
- New Balance Hubway in Boston www.thehubway.com
New programs are currently being planned or launched in New York City, Chicago, the San Francisco area, and Portland.
Our colleagues in Portland have recently compiled a nice chart that lists current and planned programs in North America. We hope to addSeattleto the list with our current effort. www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=57983&a=387784
The best place to keep up on world wide bike sharing is the Bike Share Blog bike-sharing.blogspot.com
The National Center for Transit Research in partnership with the Center Urban Transportation Research at the Universityof South Floridarecently hosted a webinar with Susan Sheehan and Darren Buck. Their reports provide both background as well as future thoughts on how bike share will be integrated into our urban transit systems in the future. www.nctr.usf.edu/2012/03/integrating-bikesharing-transit-webinar
Wikipedia has a good entry on bike sharing: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_sharing_system
Streetfilms did a nice piece on the Hangzhou bike share system with over 50,000 bikes