Good Evening Madame Chair and members of the Committee Catherine Hurley, Sustainable Programs Coordinator I am here to present information on Item A8 – regarding a grant application to expand a bicycle sharing program to Evanston.
Bike sharing is an innovative transportation program, deal for short distance point-to-point trips providing users the ability to pick up a bicycle at any self-serve bike station and return it to any bike station located within the system’s service area. They provide people with an alternative to driving, walking, or public transit. Bicycle share programs also help to address the “last mile” problem which refers to the difficult people have sometimes getting from a transit hub to their final destination. Or the problem of getting TO their closest transit hub. Bicycle share programs that are organized by municipal or county governments are also considered a new form of public transit and offer easy and affordable access to bicycles for short trips.
Bicycle share programs are becoming increasingly popular around the world and in the United States. This map shows the locations for bicycle sharing programs in the US, with the red markers is for municipal programs and the blue markers is for college/university programs. I have also highlighted the statistics for the country’s largest bicycle share programs. Collectively, there are over 20 active bike share programs in the US with another 20 in the final implementation phase. In in addition to major metropolitan areas, smaller cities such as Chattanooga, TN, Cleveland, OH; and Minneapolis, MN have bicycle share programs.
Bicycle share programs are easy to use for both the casual rider and the life-long biker. Each bicycle share station has a touchscreen kiosk, station map, and a docking system that releases bikes using a member key or ride code. A bicycle share program member pays an annual fee and receives unlimited rides or you can pay for each session that you ride. After the user pays, the bicycle is released from the dock and the trip begins. Bicycles can be returned to any of the stations within the network and “docked” at the station nearest your location. The City of Chicago rolled out their new bicycle sharing program, called Divvy, this summer and as of August 1st there are 117 stations installed. By the end of the summer there will be 300 stations with 3,000 bikes installed and by next spring, there will be in 400 neighborhood locations with 4,000 bikes. The northern boundary of the bike share program in this initial phase will be Devon. Currently the furthers bicycle share station in the network at Wrigley Field. In the first month of operations, users have taken more than 80,000 trips and have collectively ridden an estimated 250,000 miles. As of August 1st, there are nearly 4,000 Divvy members across the Chicagland area. In the first month of operations, 61 Evanston residents have signed up as Divvy annual members and another 100 residents are casual members. Annual membership costs $75 for unlimited 30-minute rides or a casual rider can pay $7 for unlimited 30-minute rides for a 24-hour period. If you want the bicycles for a longer period of time, you can pay for additional time in 30-minute increments.
The City of Evanston was contacted by the City of Chicago with the opportunity to partner together and apply for a grant to expand the Divvy bicycle share program to Evanston and Village of Oak Park. The Transportation Alternatives Program is grant funding administered by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and authorized by Congress with the passage of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). The City of Evanston, in partnership with the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park, are seeking to apply for funding from the TAP to expand bike share north into Evanston and west to Oak Park. There is a 20% cost match required for the grant and the application is due on August 20th. Applications will be notified in January whether their application has been funded. The timeframe to make a decision on this particular grant opportunity was very short but staff wanted to explore the potential and bring the idea forth to share with City Council tonight. As a result of the limited available time, staff has put together a suggestion for a pilot bike share program that would allow the City to start slowly with a program and then evaluate its success before expanding it further. The Pilot Bike Share Program that I will discuss on the following slides would be for 7 stations with a total of 70 bicycles.
This figure shows the potential bike share locations for a 7 station pilot program. The pilot program would focus on connecting Downtown Evanston, Central Street, the lakefront and the City’s largest employers: Rotary International, Northshore University System – Evanston Hospital, Northwestern University and the City of Evanston. The exact locations would need to be further refined based on available space in the right of way and collaboration with local partners.
This slide shows you and example of where we could site the bike share station at the Davis Street Metra and CTA station
The estimated capital and instalation cost for Evanston’s part of the grant application is provided in Table 1. The totals are based on a Pilot Program of 7 stations. Upon the receipt of the grant, staff would get formal quotes from the bicycle share vendor, Alta Bikeshare and finalize the capital and installation budgets. The final number of stations and bicycles for Evanston’s Bike Share Pilot Program may vary depending on the final quotes from Alta Bikeshare. The capital costs include 3-speed bicycles, Station Kiosk, Back Lit Map Frame, Docks, Technical Platform, Customer Keys, Shipping and Customs, Alta Bicycle Share Handling Fee. The bicycles themselves cost approximately $1,200. They are utility bicycles with a unisex step-through frame and handlebars that conceal cables in an effort to protect them from vandalism and inclement weather and heavy-duty tires that are designed to be puncture-resistant. Each bike also has LED front lights, rear blinker, a bell, and a front basket to carry your personal items.
Operating costs for the Divvy bike share system have been estimated based on the City of Chicago’s contract with Alta Bikeshare, the operator of Divvy. Operating revenues include user fees from both the Annual Divvy Members and the casual users. Advertising panels on the Divvy kiosk can also generate monthly revenues for each station which can be explored in the future. Community partners, such as Evanston’s largest employers can also financially support the operations of the system with financial contributions. Staff have been in contact with Northwestern University and they have expressed interest being a partner to bring Divvy to Evanston. While a specific financial contribution was not determined, Northwestern University agreed to continue dialogue and negotiate a contribution that was fair to both parties. Staff will also approach the City’s other large employers including Rotary International and Northshore University Health System – Evanston Hospital for supoprt the Bike Share Pilot Program including capital cost-share and operating expenses.
A bicycle sharing program brings efficiency to urban travel by providing another transportation option. It makes both spontaneous and planned urban trips possible by bike and can be an ideal complement to transit trips as it provides first mile and last mile connections. Bike sharing programs can contribute to reduced traffic congestion, reduced use of fossil fuels, reduced pressures on motor vehicle parking supply, and increased use of transit and other single occupant vehicle alternatives (e.g., rail, bus, car-sharing). For example, Denver B-Cycles program has saved a total of 15,000 gallons of gasoline and avoided 300,000 lbs of carbon emissions. Riding a bicycle requires more physical activity than driving or using public transit and contributes to public health. In the first operating season, users of the Denver B-Cycles program took 100,000 trips and cost a collective 1,800 pounds. Bicycle sharing programs are available to the public and provide convenient and cost effective access to a bicycle. For 20 cents a day, you can have a annual Divvy bicycle share membership. A bicycle shareing program can help people connect to transit and save the need for driving a car to some trips, saving people on vehicle costs, public transit use and gasoline.
This slides shows a photo of two Divvy bikes that were spotted over the weekend in Downtown Evanston in front of Saville Florists on Sherman Avenue.
Staff has summarized the information in the staff memo for the Bike Share Pilot Program in Evanston and is looking for the Committee’s input and direction. Should the committee be interested in pursuing the grant application with the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park, Resolution 50-R-13 authorizes the City Manager to Submit an Application for Grant Funds from the Transportation Alternatives Program to Extend the Regional Bike Share System to Evanston. Other next steps include further exploring partnerships and sponsors to help pay for the capital and operating costs for the bicycle share program. The timeframe to prepare information for the grant application was very short so we did not have time to reach out to the Evanston community. Staff would be happy to do public outreach if City Council was interested in moving forward with a Bike Share Pilot Program. Based on further refinement of the pilot program, staff will come back to City Council with a revised program and budget and seek further input and approval. There are many details that need to be addressed regarding this program. If at any point in the process some aspects do not work out as anticipated, such as securing financial support for the bike share program, and staff will come back City Council and we can rescind our grant application.
A8 divvy bike share presentation to council 8.12.13 cnh final
Grant Application for
Evanston Bike Share
Sustainable Programs Coordinator
Bicycle Share Programs
Short point to point journeysShort point to point journeys
Effective alternativeEffective alternative
Sought to solve “Last Mile” problemSought to solve “Last Mile” problem
Provide an easy and affordable access toProvide an easy and affordable access to
A public transit serviceA public transit service
Bicycle Share Programs in the US
Nice Ride MN
San Francisco, CA
Bay Area Bike Share
– Annual MembershipAnnual Membership
– Pay as you ridePay as you ride
– After paying, take the bicycle right out of theAfter paying, take the bicycle right out of the
– Ride the bicycle to the destinationRide the bicycle to the destination
– Return the bicycle to “any” nearby dockingReturn the bicycle to “any” nearby docking
City of Chicago
Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
Expand Divvy Bike Share Program to
Evanston and Oak Park
Partnership with City of Chicago and Village
20% cost match
Pilot Program - 7 stations with 70 bicycles
(Davis St. –
Estimated Capital & Installation
Cost per Station Total Cost for 7
Capital Expenses $ 62,000 $ 434,000
$ 5,500 $ 38,500
Total Capital and Installation $ 472,500
City Cost Share for Grant (20%) $ 94,500
Estimated Annual Operating
Operating Cost – Divvy Contract $ 24,000 $ 168,000
Estimated Casual User Fees $ 6,300 $ 44,100
Estimated Annual Member Fees $ 75,000
Total Operating Revenue $ 119,100
Net Operating Cost $ 48,900