June 15, 2010

Bike-Sharing $uck$?

Why are Bike Sharing systems so Expensive? Is Tony Soprano involved?

Bcycle, a system we’ve been big fans of, and have covered often in the past, just debuted in Denver. It’s a fancy-cool bike sharing system. Click the excerpt above to read the article.

All I gotta say is, $1,000,000 for 400 bikes? They better be made of gold and glittering with diamonds.

$1 million bucks? Are you [email protected]#$%^k&*()(*^@!g kidding me?

Put me in charge of a city’s bike share system, and I’d partner with some bike company, get the rides for close to free in return for their logos on the bikes (of course) and on the kiosks, and shout-outs in City materials…and we’d do it in six months, man. This thing took yeeeears.

So why’s is take so long? Red tape? Why’s it so expensive? ‘Cause the whole system seems needlessly complicated. You could go with a simple bike shed, bike maintenance team and acquire thousands of “green bikes”, a basic system just like many universities have had for years. And even if you lost many bikes to attrition, theft, vandalism…you’d still get a whole helluva lot more bikes for a lot less dough.

Okay, here’s the part where folks who actually know something about bike sharing fill me in on the vast quantities of commonsense information I haven’t thought of, and explain to me why 400 bikes cost Denver $1,000,000 and the system took years to set up.


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