Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bike Share - Innovative Urban Mobility

Montreal, Bixi bike share system
Calgarians have expressed a need for more transportation options and an increased focus on sustainability, health and the environment. A September 2010 independent telephone survey told us that Calgarians want to cycle:
  • 19% of Calgarians said they already ride at least once a week, and 
  • 59% said they would like to cycle more often.
As a result, City Council requested a comprehensive Cycling Strategy to branch off of the 2009 Calgary Transportation Plan. The development of the Cycling Strategy prompted a number of initiatives to be investigated, one of which seems to be a current hot topic with Calgarians: the bike share program.

Golden Community Bike Share, BC
"A bike share program would satisfy the goals of the Council approved cycling strategy by providing more cycling opportunities to more Calgarians, placing our city amongst the ranks of other forward-acting cities interested in sustainable transportation.", says Azim Jivraj, Manager of Transportation Solutions at The City of Calgary.

This past summer, during City Council’s review of the Calgary Cycling Strategy and Pathway Safety Review, Council requested that Administration prepare a business case analysis of a potential Bike Share program. The direction was to come back in December with a report on costs, potential sources of revenue, financial and non-financial benefits, and experiences of other municipalities with similar programs.

Alta Planning and Design, a recognized expert in the field of bike share program design, planning and implementation was selected to prepare a feasibility study and a report detailing a number of bike share business models and funding strategies based on existing systems from around the world.

How might this bike share model work?

Decobike, Miami Beach
Bike share systems consist of a fleet of bicycles provided at a network of stations located throughout a city. Bicycles are available on demand, providing fast and easy access for short trips, transit-linked trips, and tourist trips.

Stations are placed an average of 300 to 400 metres apart, providing access to a bike within a short walk of anywhere in the city's central core and a variety of places to return a bike. Stations are placed at key transit stops, visitor attractions, civic facilities, tourist accommodations, neighbourhood and commercial centres, and higher density housing and employment nodes.

How much will it cost?

Capital and launch cost: $2,400,000
Annual operating: $1,100,000
Revenues: User fee, sponsorship, and/or advertising, depending on the business model chosen

Cost estimates have been prepared based on experience in other cities, and include the purchase of  equipment, launch of the system, operation and maintenance of the system, marketing, and customer support.

What are the next steps? 

The proposed next steps towards implementing a bike share system in the Calgary Centre City include:

  1. That the Committee receive the report for information
  2. That Administration be directed to return to the Committee by June 2012 with a business model and funding strategy

Over 300 other cities worldwide are investing in bike sharing as a relatively inexpensive and quickly implemented urban transportation option.

No comments:

Post a Comment