Posted By Leslie Newell Peacock, Arkansas Times
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Times Blog) - The board of Metroplan today approved a resolution in support of the selection of the Bantam BCycle bike share company to start a bike share program in Little Rock and North Little Rock. John Landosky, the bicycle pedestrian coordinator for Little Rock, presented a committee's recommendation to hire Bantam, which was one of five vendors that responded to a request for proposals.
Now, Metroplan and the two cities will work with Bantam Strategy Group, which is partnering with BCycle to provide the program, on the details of a five-year contract. The companies would provide the startup investment with the help of private sponsorships and grants; cities may kick in funding up to $50,000, Landosky said. (That's the amount Little Rock can provide without approval from the Board of Directors). There will be no cost to Metroplan. The bicycles could be in place next spring.
Bantam BCycle would provide 200 bikes fitted with touch screens that provide information on where bike stations are located and the number of available bikes at each station, information that can be accessed through an app. The number of bike stations at the start will range from 20 to 30, he said. The five-year contract would be based on a per bike cost of $2,600 a year, a sum Landosky said was just a working number, to cover start up expenses, such as station building, salaries for three employees, bike maintenance, etc.
Details to be worked out are where the stations would be located and what a year's membership or hourly fees would be. Landosky said yearly memberships, which could be $60, would provide one free hour of use a day.
Unlike bike programs in other cities, the Bantam BCycle bikes would not have to dock at stations when not in use, but could be locked up by a user until it's needed again. The app would calculate the extra cost owed if bike use exceeded the time the paid fee covered.
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