Sustainability: Is Affordable, operates fairly and efficiently, offers a choice of transport mode, and supports a competitive economy, as well as balanced regional development.
Deco Bike has changed the dynamic of Public Bike Share! They are the only large scale Public Bike Share operator to implement a completely sustainable solution. “Every day each DECOBIKE is used on average 5 to 6 times by residents, tourists, and the Beautiful People who flock to Miami Beach, Florida. DECOBIKE is the first privately funded city-wide bike-sharing system in North America. It has completed its first year by logging close to 720,000 rides, with 100,000 in the last 30 days.” – Russell Meddin bike-sharing blog
It is much more than the fact that the program is popular, or that the Public Bike Share system was completely funded privately, Deco Bike took the concept of sustainability and implemented from scratch.
First they pick a partner/supplier (SandVault) that would help with design but allowed a large portion of the system to be built locally, this does not happen with Bcycle or BiXi. “Built by locals for locals” was the first part of the sustainable business solution.
Second is to have the Public Bike Share system operated by locals – this is the second part of the business solution, and continues as Deco Bike expands throughout North America and beyond.
Third was to develop a fee structure that allowed the system to be financially successful, but affordable in the Miami Beach market.
Fourth was to create an image that fit into the local environment that allowed the system to be marketable to locals and local businesses making bike sharing cool and sexy in Miami Beach – another success. “Starting with 550 bikes, there are now 800 bikes in the system. Soon there will 1,000 bikes rolling through the Miami Beach streets and next to the ocean. In its first year, 4% of the City’s residents have subscribed to the long-term membership option. The program is celebrating its anniversary financially in the black.” –Russell Meddin bike-sharing blog
Fifth was to design and assemble a vandal proof bike specifically for the environment that the Public Bike Share solution would be in, this would help with all the first four steps.
This model has not been duplicated by any other operator in North America, of course not every city is the same as Miami Beach, but the idea of having a truly sustainable Public Bike Share solution starts with the proper ideal – this is why there is only one operator in North America that truly has the experience in operating a sustainable Public Bike Share solution.
Derrick Moennick – www.publicbikeshare.com