Small2_bike_share

Update Austin Bike Share is now open! Austin B-Cycle launched on December 21, 2013 with 11 stations in the Downtown area and will quickly expand to 40 stations by March 1, 2014. Find bike share locations and sign up

A managed bike share system should be an integral part of the transit discussion.  For distances of less than one-mile, these are cost-effective systems of getting urban-Austinites and visitors where they want to get to.  The utility of these systems grows with number of stations.  A large bike sharing network is also a superb recreational and tourist amenity.

Examples in use:
1) BIXI - http://www.bixi.com/the-stations
2) B-Cycle - http://www.bcycle.com
3) Nice Ride - https://www.niceridemn.org 

Targeting the following city departments, and possible stakeholders
1) Austin Transportation Dept
2) Economic Growth & Redevelopment Office
3) CapMetro
4) Austin Chamber of Commerce 
5) Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau

25 Comments 173 Votes Completed
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Bryan Kosarek over 3 years ago

I like the idea of bike hubs. I used these often while visiting Barcelona and it's a great way to experience/commute around a city. 

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Jude Galligan over 3 years ago

Montreal was the first place I used a robust bike share system. I was able to get to places I would not have walked to, otherwise.  Minneapolis has a great system, too.  Not long ago B-Cycle dropped into Austin to show off their wares.  

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Wendell Mayes Iv over 3 years ago

WONDERFUL idea. 

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Wendell Mayes Iv over 3 years ago

At the bare minimum stations should be placed at these locations:

South Congress, East 6th, West 5th/West 6th (Whole Foods), Congress Avenue, The Drag, 2nd Street, Convention Center, Capitol, Zilker, Long Center/Palmer, and Metrorail Downtown. 

Other stations that would make sense include every future Urban Rail station, future Seaholm redevopment OR Green Power Plant redevelopment, House Park, the Triangle, Rainey Street, Brackenridge Hospital, Plazo Saltillo, South Lamar near Alamo Drafthouse, Darrell K. Royal Stadium, Disch Falk Field, and Pease Park. 

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Jay Strong over 3 years ago

I accidentally voted for this.... of all the things to vote for accidentally. I feel that this is absolutely ridiculous. There are so many things that our tax dollars should be going to and yet you want the city to buy you a bicycle? Buy your own bicycle or walk. I've got this image of a city council member talking to a homeless guy on the street... “yeah that's to bad about being cold man, do you want to borrow a bicycle?”

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Wendell Mayes Iv over 3 years ago

Jay Strong: You obviously do not understand the concept. It is simply to allow a private company to place rentable bikes at certain locations throughout the core. It would work similar to Car2Go. Tax dollars would not be wasted at all. 

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Jay Strong over 3 years ago

If it is something that is provided by a private company and requires no tax subsidies, then I have no problem with it. I don't believe that is what is being proposed though. This is a forum for ideas that the city of Austin can use for improvement. Not a place for pivate business ideas.

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Wendell Mayes Iv over 3 years ago

No, that is definitely what is being proposed. Did you even bother with the links provided by Jude? Bixi and BCycle are private companies. Those were his suggestions. Jude, whose blog I read religiously, wouldn't suggest that the taxpayers shoulder the cost. Besides, even if he was, how would that be bad? The city might stand to make a profit off of the system. 

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Diane Carrico over 3 years ago

I can see how Jay was misunderstanding, even though he's using stronger-than-necessary language.

Jude, how exactly are you suggesting the city be involved? By installing the bike systems or by allowing private companies to purchase/rent property for the hubs that may have been previously considered unrentable?

I, too, think this is a good idea for tourists. I imagine it would be cheaper than a cab, arguably faster & more reliable than the bus system & promote Austin as being a health-conscious city. But, I would also be interested in seeing this extend to residents, as well. I've recently been commuting via bike to work & am also considering the public transit system for days that I can't bike, or for longer trips. However, cyclists are taking a bit of a gamble with the bike/bus combo, since there's limited space (2 spots?) to store them. Having a bike rental hub within close proximity to the Cap Metro stops would alleviate this problem.

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Jude Galligan over 3 years ago

As I've observed in other cities, bike share systems require city coordination and leadership.  Afterall, the bike stations need to be placed on/near sidewalks and ROW.  The systems are developed an managed by private companies, and depending on how the infrastructure is financed cities can participate.  

I'm ambivalent about how they are to be paid for.  ALL transit systems are subsidized and require municipal participation of some sort.  IMO, dollar-for-dollar a managed bike share system could deliver the greatest value for last-mile transit.

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Jay Strong over 3 years ago

Ok, so that makes a little more sense to me. I thought the idea was to have the city provide the bikes and then rent them out for some arbitrary price. I did read the links but as I stated earlier, this is a forum for ideas for the city to act upon and I didn't see how that could possibly be the best use of our city budget.

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Jonathan Jonathan over 3 years ago

I like it:)...

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Clayton Neuman over 3 years ago

Especially during events such as SXSW, this would cut down on car traffic that is just going from hotels to venues. I think placing small bike rental stations near some of the larger hotels would encourage tourists to use them. For people like me, who occasionally take the bus downtown from NW Austin, having them near more heavily used bus stops would also be a major convenience. I think most people would agree that anything to reduce traffic downtown would be a good thing- for people's health, transit time, and fuel consumption.

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Jude Galligan over 3 years ago

Absolutely, this is an important and under-promoted piece of the local transit puzzle.

The other departments I'm hoping are listening include the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Office.  The value of a managed bike share system for visitors and conventioneers could be significant.

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Patrick Jones over 3 years ago

Nice Ride MN is a spectacular success, and thats with Minnesota winters.  Why cant it work here?

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Kelso Kelso over 3 years ago

The Danes have had immense success with their public bike sharing program.  It's now entering its 15th year of existence.  By utilizing simple bikes, non-standard-sized parts, hard rubber tires to avoid flats, and strong-as-a-tank frame design they've managed to avoid many of the attrition (theft) and maintenance issues that have been such a challenge for the YellowBike program.

Just another sharing system to consider.  The city of Copenhagen has managed to have a very functional municipal system without multi-million dollar kiosk systems, maintenance agreements or long term contracts with private vendors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_City_Bikes

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Glad Glad over 3 years ago

Great suggestion.

Downtown Austin employers just started a Transportation Management Association to help employees, residents, and visits get to/from/around downtown.  It's new.  It's just starting.  But this kind of effort is what it was built to help make happen. 

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Shoestring Austin over 3 years ago

Great idea. As someone who used to live in Montreal, I'm all for having our own version of Bixi here!

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Coapublic Information admin over 3 years ago

Hi, everyone--thank you very much for the suggestion and comments on this item.  The Public Works Department has developed this response, and we invite you to view it and share your thoughts.  Here's the link.

Larry Schooler

Community Engagement Consultant, City of Austin

Moderator, Speak Up Austin

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Jett Hanna over 3 years ago

Thanks, Larry Schooler, for the post and link to info on other programs.

I have two simple question: How much are the bikes used in the cities that have them?  How are the kiosks paid for-city money with no reimbursement by vendors, city money to be returned as a portion of fees collected by vendors, or paid for up front by vendors?  

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Genoa Genoa about 3 years ago

I'm writing my thesis on Austin and was hoping some of you might help by completing this survey. It takes less than 10 minutes and you can register to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

http://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/591991/Austin-Survey-1



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Coa Bicycle Program over 2 years ago

The City of Austin has received funding for a Bike Share Program. Stay tuned for ways to get involved in the planning process.

Contact nadia.barrera@austintexas.gov for more info.

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Lelar Lelar about 2 years ago

I encourage CoA to add European cities to their study. Many European cities have had bike share programs for longer periods of time and may be able to offer some additional insight. Montpellier, France is a good place to start.

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JEFF REICHMAN 3 months ago

Stop out sourcing jobs. I find it rather disparaging that a City of Austin program is scheduled by a phone bank in Minnesota. If the city needs someone to answer phones it should be handled by Austinites. – Austin TEXAS not Austin Minnesota. Further investigation might lead to a requirement that all city funds be spent in the city where the taxes are raised, why not?

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