Monday, December 10, 2012

Philadelphia Takes a Big Step Towards Bike Sharing

Will the system include bikes
for bilaterally symmetrical
cephalopod molluscs?
This weekend the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities announced that the City is committing to bring bike share to Philadelphia by 2014. This is a big first step for Philly, and naturally, we're pretty excited about it.

There is still a significant amount that needs to happen before bike share stations appear on our street corners. This first step is the issuance of an "Request For Proposal" (RFP) for the business plan for the system, which was posted today. Later, a second RFP will be issued to solicit bids to install and run a bike share system. Capital funds also need to be found. The City appears to be willing to put $3 million on the table, but needs $5-6 million more in private sector investment. Nevertheless, we have reached an important tipping point, in that the Mayor's Office of Transportation has concluded that Philly is ready for bike share. Much of the sale is over, now we have the logistics to work on.

Compliments and gratitude are due to Russell Meddin (Bike Share Philadelphia), Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and the Nutter Administration for their work in getting Philadelphia to this point.

MOTU recounts the history and thinking behind how they've moved from "feasibility to action" on their blog. If you're interested in reading the RFP for the business plan, you can find that here.