Rob Manning shares the good news out of Portland this past week, as the City Council approved plans to bring 750 bikes to 75 bike-sharing station to the famously bike-friendly city. Just one small problem, someone's going to have to pay for the darned thing.
"The projected cost to set up and run the program for one year is $6.5million [sic] dollars. Of that, $1.8 million is federal money awarded through the city," says Manning. "Filling that gap – and finding sponsorship revenue into the future – is up to the contractor, [Portland-based] Alta Bicycle Share."
"[Alta head Mia] Birk says she is excited to start bike-sharing in her hometown of Portland. 'But it is a big responsibility on us, and that’s going to be a challenge. Portland is not the same as New York City, does not have the deep-pocket companies and the media value that New York has with the density of population and activities. So I see it as a challenge – I like challenges, I’m excited about it – but I’m also cautious.'"
"Mayor Sam Adams hopes the bike share program can launch next year," notes Manning. "But city officials say that will depend on the private sector's appetite to sponsor the program."