City of Eugene puts out call for bike-share proposals

Eugene has officially put out the call for an organization to launch a bike share system in the city by fall 2017. A “request for proposals” is live on the city website, and responses are due by March 8.

“The City of Eugene, in coordination with Lane Transit District and the University of Oregon, is interested in developing a modern bike share system from the university campus through downtown Eugene,” the posting reads.

The city has $1.2 million available to pay for the bikes and other costs of building and launching the system. The money comes from two grants, one awarded to the city and the other to University of Oregon.

Eugene Associate Transportation Planner Reed Dunbar, who put together the request for proposals, has said the city is trying to cast a broad net for ideas on what the system would look like and how it would operate.

Bay_Area_Bike_Share
Bike share is operating in hundreds of metro areas around the world, including the San Francisco Bay Area.

While older forms of bike share rely on fixed stations where users pick up and return bikes, some systems now use “self-locking” bikes that can be left anywhere within a certain service area, more akin to the Car2Go system that operated for a while in Eugene.

The scope of bike share in Eugene won’t be known until a proposal is selected, but a feasibility study (15MB PDF) completed in 2014 that led up to the grant and current request for proposals suggested a phased implementation focused on the university and central neighborhoods.

This is a scenario from a 2014 feasibility study showing how bike share might be built out in Eugene, but the scope of the eventual system will depend more on proposals yet to come.
This is a scenario from a 2014 feasibility study showing how bike share might be built out in Eugene, but the scope of the eventual system will depend more on proposals yet to come.

The city’s current call for proposals also asks that they “identify a business plan to fund operations” of the system once it is built and launched.

Typically, the ongoing operation of bike-share systems is funded by some combination of user fees, government subsidies and sponsorship deals. New York City’s Citibike, for instance, is sponsored by Citibank. And Nike recently signed on to sponsor the upcoming Portland bike share.

Eugene plans to put out a separate request for proposals for sponsorship of Eugene bike share.