Bike-Share Put on Hold
After eight months of reviewing potential contracts "aimed at finding a company to provide the service and maintain a fleet of rental bicycles," Portland, Oregon has put its bike-share plans on hold due to nagging logistical and funding issues. In essence, the city wants to spend more time studying other bike-share models in Europe and the U.S. before it starts its own program. Two companies--ClearChannel Outdoor and Portland Bike Co.--had already entered bids, but as the city moved forward with the proposals "it became apparent that the project could require more leg work than anticipated."
Good Idea--More Research Needed
The idea was to have a 500 bicycle fleet that would enable riders to rent bicycles from special kiosks throughout the city, with "a combination of rental fees, public subsidies and advertising on the bicycles or the kiosks" providing the funding for the initial purchase and maintenance of the system. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that Portland thought through carefully all the costs and logistical issues surrounding the creation of a network of bike kiosks. However, Portland officials say that if more research reveals that a sustainable bike-share program can be established, then the city will consider giving the bidding process another try. They might look to Washington, D.C. and Tucson, Arizona and Montreal, Canada, for examples of American and Canadian cities that are starting up bike share programs.
More on Bike Share Programs
University of Washington to Create Electric Bike Share Program
Waterloo Grad Students Win $25,000 for Bike-Share Program Proposal
San Francisco Moves Towards Bike-Sharing
Barcelona Has Gone Bicing Crazy: 30,000 Users in 2 Months!