In a recent list of projects PSRC recommended for federal funding was $150,000 for a “King County Bike Sharing Project.” Intrigued, I asked Metro planners Ref Lindmark and Eileen Kadesh about the details.
See also this City of Seattle/UW report on bike sharing.
What is the program’s total cost, and what are the other funding sources?
Grant funding is critical to getting the program launched. The capital cost of launching a program is estimated to be in the range of $3500 – $4500 per bike. Operating costs are estimated to be in the range of $1200 – 1600 per bike, and are normally funded through subscription fees.
King County has been awarded $150,000 in Transportation Enhancement money for 2011 to fund business model development, site selection and right-of-way permitting. Our application was for $1.83 million ($1.68 million for construction)… We will continue to pursue funding opportunities from a number of sources prior to there being an actual program.
County funds are not being proposed to fund this program.
When would it open?
Launch is currently planned for early summer, 2012.
More after the jump…
How many bikes and where would they go?
Phase 1 targets 500 bikes and 50 stations in downtown Seattle neighborhoods, SLU, UW and Redmond. Phase 2 would expand to Bellevue Downtown, Kirkland, Renton, Kent and key neighborhoods tied to Link light rail stations.
How would membership work?
Users would subscribe for an annual, daily or monthly fee, and there would be an hourly cost after the first half hour. Users would swipe a card at the station kiosk to access a bike. Visitors would access the bike by means of credit card, with a a higher hourly rate.
In most cities the annual subscription cost is in the range of $45 – 75, plus an hourly rate. The first half hour is free in most programs.
How would you handle helmet laws?
The vendor would be asked to address the issue of how helmets would be provided. Most users would bring their own helmets; there would probably also be some type of system for checking out helmets.
What are the criteria for expanding beyond the pilot?
Areas for program expansion would primarily be based on the interest of local jurisdictions and major employers in King County, in negotiation with the vendor. It is anticipated that cities and major employers and insitutions would sign their own contracts with the vendor, based on a common template to ensure program consistency. The primary criteria would likely include estimated daily usage at proposed stations, presence of bicycle infrastructure (e.g., bike lanes and separated paths), linkage with transit, willingness to provide right-of-way for stations, and membership guarantees.