Philly Bike Share is rolling forward, and its business model will be to partner with some of the companies and property owners who want to see bike corrals located on their property. Private sponsorships, in addition to state and federal grants, are expected to cover the $10 million to $15 million capital cost. The city is putting out an RFP for firms to run the system, and a request for letters of interest from companies who want to underwrite stations on or near their property. Those sponsors "will be assured placement when the system rolls out in late summer 2014.)
A city press release features quotes from Comcast, Liberty Property Trust, Brandywine Property Trust, Independence Blue Cross and Penn, indicating that locations like the Navy Yard and the Comcast Center are "poised to take advantage of this new transportation option."
If that sounds like a recipe for a bike share program that takes care of working professionals and leaves the rest of the city waiting for the bus, Andrew Stober of the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities insists that's not the case.
"We have the opportunity to have the most socially inclusive bike-share program in the country," he says. "More than half the people in Philadelphia who live below the poverty line are going to live within the proposed bike share deployment area." That, he notes, is partly a reflection of how poor Philly is. But in any case: "We will have more people who live below the poverty line in our bike share area than in any other city that has bike share."
The city expects that in those neighborhoods without anchor businesses, bike corrals will be located at transit hubs, rec centers, libraries and other city properties. The one thing they wouldn't dare attempt? Put bike pods in the streets and take away parking spots.
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