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File #: 2018-5455 (60 minutes)   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/1/2018
Title: Recommendation to Approve the Continuation of the Dockless Bike Share Program with Refinements and with a Single Bike Share Company; and Adoption of Resolution Authorizing the Acting City Manager to Approve in Substantial Form and Release a Request for Proposals for Dockless Bike Share and Negotiate and Enter into an Agreement and All Necessary Documents with the Successful Vendor. (Transportation 4226287)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Current LimeBike Agreement, 2. Exhibit 2 - Summary of Pilot-Period Data from LimeBike, 3. Exhibit 3 - Community Survey Summary, 4. Exhibit 4 - Community Survey - Like Responses, 5. Exhibit 5 - Community Survey - Dislike Responses, 6. Exhibit 6 - Community Survey - Additional General Responses, 7. Exhibit 7 - Request for Proposals, 8. Presentation - REVISED, 9. Presentation, 10. Resolution

Title

 

Recommendation to Approve the Continuation of the Dockless Bike Share Program with Refinements and with a Single Bike Share Company; and

 

Adoption of Resolution Authorizing the Acting City Manager to Approve in Substantial Form and Release a Request for Proposals for Dockless Bike Share and Negotiate and Enter into an Agreement and All Necessary Documents with the Successful Vendor. (Transportation 4226287)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

From: Elizabeth D. Warmerdam, Acting City Manager

 

Re: Recommendation to Approve the Continuation of the Dockless Bike Share Program with Refinements and with a Single Bike Share Company; and Adoption of Resolution Authorizing the Acting City Manager to Approve in Substantial Form and Release a Request for Proposals for Dockless Bike Share and Negotiate and Enter into an Agreement and All Necessary Documents with the Successful Vendor

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City launched as a six-month pilot program for dockless bike share in Alameda with LimeBike as the operator on October 5, 2017. The City was the first in the East Bay with dockless bike share and the second in the Bay Area, after South San Francisco. The program has now been in place for six months and over 41,000 trips have been taken. Using the available data and surveys of the community and stakeholders, the City comprehensively evaluated the program and developed a recommendation to continue this successful and community-supported program with enhancements to address the issues that were identified.

 

The initial goals of the pilot program were (1) to test out dockless bike share (and bike share, in general) in Alameda to see how it functioned and how it was used and perceived by the community; and (2) to add another non-single-occupant-vehicle (SOV) transportation option for Alameda residents, visitors and employees, especially for making first and last mile connections to transit.

 

Bike share programs provide shared-use bicycles to the public, for a fee, expanding transportation options. They are typically targeted for short-trips, including the first and last mile to/from transit stops and stations. As with other shared mobility programs, modern bike share programs were made possible with the ubiquity of smart phones. Until 2017, most bike share programs used the docking system, with bikes required to be parked at a docking station.

 

In 2016, the City of Alameda prepared a Bike Share Feasibility Study to evaluate bringing bike share to Alameda. The study found that, while bike share would likely be successful in the City, participating in the Ford GoBike system or even the semi-dockless systems available at that time, would cost $500,000 to $800,000 in capital expenditures for approximately 120 bicycles, plus another $125,000 to $375,000 per year in maintenance and operation costs, depending on the system used. Even with the possibility of regional grant funding to cover the capital infrastructure costs, these systems were deemed too expensive for an ongoing program, and the City opted to instead continue to monitor the evolving bike share technology.

 

In 2017, a new type of bike share was launched in the United States - the completely dockless system. These systems use bicycles that are self-locking and do not need to be parked at a docking station or even a bike rack. Unlike with other systems, municipalities do not pay capital, operating or maintenance costs. The venture-capital-backed dockless bike share companies cover all of their program costs.

 

The City of Alameda was approached in Spring of 2017 by several dockless bike share companies interested in operating in Alameda. Staff evaluated these new systems, conferring with other cities who had established programs, all relevant city departments, and also the three major business associations (Chamber of Commerce, West Alameda Business Association (WABA), Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA)), our partner public agencies (Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), AC Transit, BART, WETA), Bike Walk Alameda and the local bicycle shops. All were generally supportive of a pilot dockless bike share program and provided their input on how to move forward.

 

With this feedback, and the feedback on drafts of the Transportation Choices Plan to pursue additional and innovative transportation options to the single-occupant-vehicle, City staff began to draft an agreement with the engaged vendor at that time, LimeBike, who was already operating in South San Francisco and Seattle, WA. Staff proposed a short-term pilot program of six months. Staff selected entering into an agreement over other approaches due to the limited term of the proposed program, and did not bring this agreement to City Council, since it was a short-term pilot program and there was no direct financial impact to the City.

 

In developing the City’s Agreement with LimeBike (Exhibit 1), staff included many of the restrictions and provisions found in the comprehensive requirements for dockless bike share from Seattle and San Francisco. Key agreement terms included:

§                     No direct cost to the City for capital, operations or maintenance.

§                     Maximum of 300 bikes on average, unless more approved by City in advance.

§                     Parking allowed in public right-of-way and City parks.

§                     Defined where and how bikes must be parked: in the furniture zone or at a bike rack, cannot block pedestrian travelway or be parked within five feet of crosswalk or curb ramps; cannot block transit stops, disabled parking zones, or driveways.

§                     Bikes must be parked upright on hard surfaces.

§                     Equipment meets safety standards and is well-maintained.

§                     Educate users on state and local laws applicable to bicycling, including regarding helmets and sidewalk riding.

§                     Maintain a 24-hour customer service number.

§                     Minimum response times for correcting improperly parked or placed bicycles, once reported:

o                     Monday-Saturday: within 2 hours, between 8 am and 8pm

o                     All other times: within 2 hours of start of above business hours.

§                     Explore cash payments and offer discounts for low income populations.

§                     Provide insurance and indemnify the City.

§                     Provide monthly reports with usage data and agreement compliance updates.

 

DISCUSSION

 

The dockless bike share program launched in early October 2017 with 200 bicycles, which quickly grew to the maximum of 300 bikes. LimeBike offered free rides to new users and worked with businesses to promote their program and educate users. The City also supplemented this outreach by providing information to riders and the community via a bike share web page (www.alamedaca.gov/bikeshare), posting on social media and creating a Frequently Asked Questions document.

The community was quick to both start using the bikes (with 10,000 trips taken in October 2017 alone) and to raise issues with the new program. As the months passed and some modifications were made to the program, the usage remained steady and the issues have generally decreased, but some key concerns have endured. Throughout the pilot, LimeBike has been a collaborative partner and been responsive to City requests. They have made adjustments to their equipment, operations and app, often above and beyond their agreement requirements, to respond to the major issues that have arisen. 

Evaluation Overview

Staff proposed a short-term pilot program to give the City the opportunity to test out dockless bike share, and then evaluate it to determine how to move forward. With five months of program operations completed, staff conducted a comprehensive program evaluation, looking at program data, conducting interviews and doing a survey. The evaluation included:

                     Data: Staff reviewed data, provided by LimeBike, on bike usage and rider characteristics. See Exhibit 2 for detailed data.

                     Community Survey: Staff created a survey to gather input from a wide range of people. The survey was conducted online, with paper copies made available at the libraries and the City Clerk’s office, from February 21st to March 5th. The City issued a press release to notify the public about the survey, placed information about it on its web page and posted on social media. Several newspapers published articles about the survey and LimeBike notified all riders in Alameda via email. The response was overwhelming with just over 1,500 responses in the 12-day survey period. Of all respondents, 95% were Alameda residents and 44% had ridden a LimeBike in Alameda. Summaries of the full survey results plus the many “other” category comments, are included in Exhibits 3, 4, 5, and 6. Since the program launched last October, the City has been receiving input from the community about it via emails, calls and reports on social media. The survey results closely represent the input that the City has received directly from community members.

                     Stakeholder Input: Staff solicited feedback from the same city departments, and partner organizations and agencies that were spoken with before the program launched, to get their feedback. In this round, the City heard from DABA, EBRPD, BART, WETA, and Bike Walk Alameda.

                     Experiences from Other Cities: Staff interviewed select cities, including Seattle and South San Francisco, whose dockless bike share programs have run longer than Alameda’s, to hear what they have learned from their programs, and how they anticipate responding to the major issues, which are very similar to those seen in Alameda.

 

Below are the four key findings of this evaluation. In those areas that need improvement, there is a description first of the finding, then what was done during the pilot period to address the issue, and finally, how staff are proposing to address the issue moving forward.

As an early-adopter, Alameda has been at the leading edge of testing this new dockless approach to bike share, with all of the inherent ups and downs of a new program finding its footing. This includes the community learning about and getting accustomed to the program, and the vendor refining their equipment and operations. Since Alameda’s launch, city-sanctioned dockless bike share programs are now also operating in the Bay Area in San Francisco, Albany, El Cerrito, and Burlingame, and are being explored by other local cities. Major cities outside of the Bay Area with dockless bike share include Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas and Washington DC.

Across the country, all municipalities are seeing the benefits of dockless bike share while also struggling with the exact same major issues seen in Alameda. Even as many more cities embrace dockless bike share, all agree that it is still in the nascent stage and is an evolving, and hopefully improving, technology. Many of the larger cities are experimenting with better ways to manage the program, especially the bike parking issue. Alameda will be able to learn from these cities over time, and at the same time these cities will also likely drive improvements in the dockless bike share market.

Evaluation Finding 1: Program is Well-Utilized and Broadly Supported

Overall, the data and surveys show that many people are using the bikes, and think that they provide a new, valuable transportation option. Most support the program and would like to see it continue.

                     Program is well-utilized

o                     41,585 rides have been taken since the program launched.

o                     Over 10,000 rides were taken in the first month (October).

o                     Since then, there have been an average of 7,800 trips made each month.

o                     On average, 297 rides are taken per day.

o                     There are over 11,449 unique riders in Alameda, and 6,409 have taken two or more rides.

o                     The average ride is 9 minutes and 1.2 miles in length.

 

                     Bikes are being used for work and school commutes, and to connect people to transit

o                     On weekdays, the peak periods for picking up a bike are from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., while the weekend peak period is generally 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

o                     The top location for bike pick up and bike drop off is the Main Street Ferry Terminal, with the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal being the second highest pick up location.

o                     21% of all trips started or ended at a transit stop/terminal.

o                     39% of all trips started, and 27% of trips ended, in a major commercial area.

 

                     Community overwhelmingly supports the program (Below statistics are from the community survey, which had over 1500 respondents)

o                     79% of respondents were very or somewhat supportive of dockless bike share in Alameda.

o                     82% said they would support continuing dockless bike share in Alameda, if the City works to address their top concerns.

o                     The top aspects that respondents most liked about the program (in priority order, and each selected by 44-48% of respondents) were:

§                     It helps reduce car traffic

§                     It’s convenient and fast

§                     It provides more options for exercise or recreation

§                     I can ride a bike and not worry about it being stolen

§                     It’s a fun way to move around Alameda

o                     Of the over 250 “other” comments for “most like” (see Exhibit 4), the top additional positive comment categories were:

§                     Like that it’s dockless/free-floating

§                     Provides more transportation options, especially for one-way trips

§                     Biking is available to those who don’t have a bike, including visitors

§                     Program creates a vibrant community

 

                     Stakeholders see benefits of the program

o                     Overall, city departments, and partner agencies and organizations support dockless bike share.

o                     There is a recognition that it is increasing access to the commercial districts, to parks and to the ferry terminals; making biking more visible, fun and easy to use; and potentially reducing auto vehicle trips and auto parking needs.

 

Evaluation Finding 2: Mis-Parked Bicycles Are the Top Issue

Description

The top issue, heard from the community and all stakeholders, is the problem of bikes not being parked properly, and the impacts that flow from this problem, such as blocked disabled access, degradation of the environment, and the visual impacts. Bicycles have been parked in the middle of sidewalks, blocking driveways, next to bus stops or curb ramps, and on private property.

This is the top concern of the community, as expressed in the community survey. Fifty one percent of respondents indicated that what they most disliked about the program were “Bicycles are often parked poorly, blocking sidewalks, curb ramps or bus stops.” Partially related are the many additional comments that were related to the bikes being “everywhere” and being an eyesore.

While both WETA and BART have had issues with mis-parked bikes on their properties, they have been resolved or are in the process of being addressed. On the other hand, EBRPD staff finds bikes are being left in inappropriate locations.

LimeBike today receives an average of just over 4 calls per day from Alameda. In the first weeks of the program, this number was much higher, but it has now remained steady over the past few months. This includes complaints, such as about mis-parked bikes, bikes that need maintenance, bikes on private property, reporting “abandoned” bikes; and also questions about the app and locking/unlocking a bike, and requests for bikes in a specific location.

Many of the complaints received by city departments are regarding mis-parked bikes. Although they started out high, the number of complaints the City is receiving has declined. This is likely due to a better community understanding of the program and how it works, more people learning where to park the bikes, better oversight and responsiveness by LimeBike, and the novelty of the program diminishing so fewer people are vandalizing bikes.

As a comparison, for automotive violations, in the month of October 2017, the Police Department issued 430 moving violations (motor, bicycle and pedestrian) and 976 auto parking violations.

While not an issue of being mis-parked, another impact of dockless bike share, is that these bikes can take away limited bike parking spaces at racks from individual bikes. Both DABA and BWA mentioned the need for more bike parking around the city to address this issue.

What Was Done during the Pilot?

The problem of mis-parked bikes was not completely unexpected, and arose soon after the pilot program was launched. Seeing this problem, LimeBike, with much input from the City, worked to address it.

                     Education: LimeBike’s education on proper parking increased during the pilot to include: in-app instructions upon sign-up, in-app designated parking areas, several flyers on how to use and park a bike, outreach to users who have parked improperly (once reported or noted by LimeBike staff), and a LimeBike rider educational video campaign launched in early January that will run for a year.

                     Geo-Fencing: LimeBike has geo-fencing capabilities for no-parking zones or other area-specific restrictions, however due to the current inability to easily provide feedback to the rider as they park the bike, and to know if the rider has parked the bike correctly, use of this feature to improve parking is limited.

                     Reporting of Mis-parked Bikes: LimeBike made it easier for riders, or others with the app, to report mis-parked bikes within their app.

                     Collaboration with Private Property Owners: At the launch of the program, LimeBike reached out to major private property owners to allow bikes on their private property. LimeBike also works with homeowners associations to meet their needs for allowing and regulating, or disallowing, bikes on their property. Additionally, the Housing Authority is in negotiations for their own agreement with LimeBike to regulate parking and provide discounts for residents.

                     Staffing: LimeBike has five full-time staff who respond to calls and complaints, and return bikes to where they are most needed. Over the course of the pilot, the local knowledge and experience of these staff have improved, leading to more orderly bike distribution.

 

Proposed for Moving Forward

The issue of mis-parked bikes clearly must be addressed if the City is going to continue to have a dockless bike share program. Staff are proposing the following:

                     Set reasonable limits on and organize bike parking. The bike share operator will be asked to create a plan, for City review and approval, to effectively address the bike parking issue. The plan should be multi-faceted, using a combination of technology (geo-fencing, improved (future) bike technology), establishing designated parking areas in congested or space-limited areas (to be proposed by the operator), improved user education, and operator-provided incentives/disincentives. The City, working with local neighborhoods/business associations, may consider in-street bike parking in areas with little available sidewalk space.

                     Closely monitor and impose penalties for not meeting set performance measures. The City set performance goals and will monitor overall operator responsiveness, including to reports of mis-parked bikes through a spot-check program run by the City and funded by the operator, and will impose penalties if performance measures are not met over time.

Evaluation Finding 3: Youth Not Using Helmets Are a Concern

Description

The issue of people not wearing helmets when riding the bike share bicycles, and in particular youth, has been a common concern or complaint of many during the pilot program. State law requires that those under 18 must wear a helmet when bicycling, and young people have been particularly heavy users of LimeBike (although the City does not have any data on age of riders at this time). As with all riders, youth are unlikely to carry a helmet with them to wear if they want to ride.

Currently, the minimum age for signing up independently for a LimeBike account is 18 years. Minors who are at least 13 years of age may use LimeBike, but only if the service is subscribed for by and under the responsibility of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, per the User Agreement.

Particularly in the beginning of the program, when there were few hurdles to signing up to ride LimeBike and free rides were offered to any new users, many youth were riding these bikes. Based on observation, youth continue to ride them, but not as frequently as when the program began.

In the community survey, the second highest complaint after mis-parked bikes was that “too many bike share users ride without helmets” (29% of respondents), and many commented, in the “other” section, that they were concerned about youth riding without helmets. At the same time, there were many comments in the “other” sections about how wonderful it is to see youth enjoying bicycling.

What Was Done during the Pilot?

Concerns were raised about the helmet issue during the pilot program and, LimeBike, at the urging of the City, began to take actions to address it:

§                     Helmet distribution: LimeBike distributed 75 helmets at Encinal High School, plus more at other events including farmers markets. Additionally, their maintenance staff hand out helmets when they see a child riding without one, during the course of their work day, as they can.

§                     Reminder of helmet requirement: At the request of the City, when a bike is picked up near a middle or high school, an in-app message will appear reminding the rider that helmets are required for those under 18.

§                     Increased Minimum Age to Ride: Towards the end of the pilot, the minimum age for signing up independently for a LimeBike account was raised to 18 years (it was 16 at the launch of the Alameda pilot).

§                     Loopholes Closed: At the start of the program, LimeBike provided many free rides, and it was very easy for anyone to sign-up without a credit card, resulting in many youth riding the bikes. Loopholes in the app have been cleaned up, and a higher bar for signing up is now in place, which appears to have reduced the number of youth riding, including without helmets.

 

Proposed for Moving Forward

The nearly unanimous opinion of cities with bike share (whether docked or dockless) is that it is nearly impossible, and also reduces program usage, to require everyone to wear a helmet when using a bike share bike, similar to bicycle ridership that is not part of a bike share program. As well, providing shared-use helmets has not proven to be workable. Given this, the City proposes to focus on increasing the use of youth wearing helmets, as follows:

                     Free Helmets: Operator to provide a set number of free helmets to children each year.

                     Safety Education: Operator to provide some funding support for in-school bike safety education.

                     Clear User Info: Operator to make age minimums and helmet use requirement very explicit in both the sign-up process, and subsequent interactions in the app, such as requiring people to acknowledge that, if they are under 18 years old, they know that a helmet must be worn.

                     Plan to Encourage Youth to Wear Helmets: Operator will provide a plan, for City review and approval, for addressing the issue, expanding on the above elements.

 

Evaluation Finding 4: Administrative Oversight and Collaboration Should Be Enhanced

Description

Over the course of the pilot, City departments experienced the administrative impacts of the new dockless bike share program although those impacts have decreased over time. While there is no direct cost to the City for dockless bike share equipment or operations, implementing and monitoring a bike share program takes City staff time, including:

                     Responding to comments and complaints, including when customer service is not adequately handled by LimeBike, or a resident demands immediate action;

                     Monitoring and impounding bicycles when they are left blocking the right of way;

                     Storing bicycles when they are impounded;

                     Retrieving bicycles from hard-to-reach locations;

                     Planning efforts to solicit a company, monitor agreement and evaluate the program; and

                     Ensuring that the operator is meeting their contractual requirements.

 

During the pilot, City staff have observed that LimeBike’s complaint response time, reporting on data and complaints, and maintenance of the bicycles could be even better. The City currently has no way to check the data that LimeBike provides. Larger cities, such as Seattle, have a system for independently verifying this data.

Finally, the biggest issue for the Police Department is that some suspects use Limebikes as their getaway vehicle. To date there have been three occurrences, and LimeBike, due to their Terms of Service with their customers, cannot share personalized data with the Police Department as it has requested, to aide in tracking the bike or solving the crime.

What Was Done during the Pilot?

LimeBike, at the request of the City, has provided additional data, above and beyond what was required in their agreement with the City. As well, they have responded quickly to time-sensitive requests made by the City.

Proposed for Moving Forward

City staff propose the following to improve program oversight, lessen the costs of administrative oversight, and improve collaboration with the operator:

                     Closely monitor and impose penalties for not meeting set performance measures. This item, already included above under the mis-parked bikes finding, would have the City monitor overall operator responsiveness, through a spot-check program run by the City and funded by the operator, and impose penalties if performance measures are not met over time.

                     Impose Fees. Establish contractual fees for operator to pay to reimburse City for direct costs when they occur (moving bikes, hauling bikes, etc).

                     Complete Data. Operator to provide complete, detailed raw data on usage, complaints, etc. The City will review and analyze this data, using a consultant, if needed.

                     Regular Operator Check-ins. Every six months, meet with operator to review their compliance, program usage, complaints, state of the practice and new technologies. Include option to terminate if performance measures are not being met.

Recommendations for Next Steps

The results of staff’s evaluation show that the dockless bike share program is well-used by the community, including for trips during the most auto-congested periods and to connect to transit, which are key to reducing SOV trips, a top goal in the Transportation Choices Plan. Based on the community survey and stakeholder outreach, there is broad support for continuing the program, especially if key improvements are made to the program on bike parking and youth wearing helmets. City partner agencies and organizations also support the program and see a need to address the bike parking issue, among other issues.

With all of this in mind, City staff recommend the following:

1.                     Continue to have a dockless bike share program, for the reasons described above.

2.                     Make key refinements to the program, as listed in the findings sections above, and summarized here:

a.                     Set reasonable limits on and organize bike parking

b.                     Closely monitor and impose penalties for not meeting set performance measures

c.                     Operator to offer free helmets

d.                     Operator to offer safety education funding

e.                     Operator to provide clear user info

f.                     Operator to develop a plan to encourage youth to wear helmets

g.                     Impose fees for reimbursement of City’s direct costs

h.                     Operator to provide complete data

i.                     Regular operator check-ins

 

Staff will work with LimeBike to incorporate these refinements into the existing program, as feasible within the current agreement.

3.                     Allow one operator. All City departments and partners were asked for their opinion of having multiple dockless bike share companies operating in the City and all thought that this would lead to more complaints, more confusion and an increase in work load. As well, some other smaller cities similar to Alameda in size have found that multiple operators are not needed or desirable.

4.                     Set a two-year contract period, with the ability to terminate if issues continue, and with the option for two one-year contract renewals, for a total maximum of four years. Before the end of the two-year period, the City will review current available bike share options, evaluate any overall program changes, and bring a recommendation to Council for moving forward.

5.                     Use an RFP process to select operator. This is the most expeditious manner of selecting a sole operator, rather than establishing a permit process which would require significant time to develop and would, by definition, allow the possibility of multiple operators. In order to allow time for the evaluation and for the selection process beyond the end of the current agreement (on April 3, 2018), staff extended the City’s agreement with Limebike for two months (to June 3, 2018), to allow for a continuation of dockless bike share until the City Council approves a recommendation on next steps. If Council approves this recommendation, staff will need to further extend the current pilot program with LimeBike to provide continuous services until a longer-term operator is selected (anticipated to be up to two additional months).

6.                     Authorize staff to issue RFP, negotiate and execute an agreement with the new operator. Attached is the proposed RFP and form of service provider agreement which will be released if the recommendation to continue the program is approved by Council. Staff will follow the recommendations in this staff report, direction from Council and the scope of work in the RFP, to negotiate and execute the agreement with the new operator.

7.                     Provide City Council with a one year, mid-agreement update and check-in. Staff will report on the status of the program and of the dockless bike share industry. Staff may also include a recommendation at the one-year check-in to allow additional bikes, above the 300 now in place, and to allow electric-assist bicycles and scooters. This will provide time for the mis-parked bikes and youth helmet issue to be addressed satisfactorily, and for these newer devices to first be tested in other cities, before these changes are made to Alameda’s program.

8.                     Pursue additional complementary strategies to support a successful bike share program. These strategies are steps that the City itself can take to address some of the issues that arose in the evaluation:

a.                     Continue to install bike racks around the City, with special priority for locations most impacted by bike share bikes taking up bike rack space, using already budgeted existing funds.

b.                     Encourage EBRPD to negotiate a separate agreement with operator, and create designated parking areas at Crown Memorial State Beach.

c.                     Continue offering bicycle safety education and pursue additional grants to continue and expand programs, to reach the wide audience of people using bike share.

d.                     Improve education and info about who to call with bike share complaints and requests, to minimize impacts on city departments.

e.                     Continue to monitor the state of the practice for bike share, and propose changes and improvements to the City’s program, as needed.

f.                     Continue to monitor results from larger cities on bike share usage and impacts on single-occupant vehicle reduction, last/first mile trips, etc.

Transportation Commission Action

Staff brought this overall recommendation to the Transportation Commission at their March 28, 2017 meeting. Three members of the public commented on the item - two in support and one against. The Commission asked some clarifying questions, expressed their support for the program and then unanimously approved the staff recommendation, with the following items to be considered in the RFP:

1.                     Allow two or three one-year extensions to the two-year agreement with the future vendor, to allow the vendor to maximize their investment in Alameda;

2.                     Ensure the security of personal data that is collected by the vendor, by defining data use and ownership; and

3.                     Consider using a performance bond for charging any direct fees, instead of billing for each fee.

Staff modified its recommendation and the RFP to incorporate these suggestions.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

There are no direct capital, operation or maintenance costs to the City for having a dockless bike share program. There are, however, indirect costs for staff time to monitor and administer the program. As well, this recommendation includes hiring a consultant to monitor how the operator is meeting their agreement requirements, estimated to cost about $4,000 per year, to be defrayed by the annual $4,500 in fees paid by the dockless bike share operator, based on $15/bike and a 300 bike program.  The cost to monitor this program is included in the Transportation Services (Fund #287) FY 2017-18 Budget.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The Transportation Choices Plan (adopted in 2018) includes a program titled “Bike Share” (#13) described as either a docked or dockless program. Objective 4.3.3 from the Transportation Element of the City of Alameda’s General Plan (2009) states “Promote and encourage bicycling as a mode of transportation.” The City’s Bicycle Master Plan (2010) includes goals to “Facilitate Connection of Bicycling and Transit” and also to “Promote Bicycling”, among other supportive policies. This program will also assist in meeting the goals of the City of Alameda's Local Action Plan for Climate Protection.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

There is no environmental review required for establishing a bike share program.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Approve the continuation of the dockless bike share program with refinements and with a single bike share company; and adopt a resolution authorizing the Acting City Manager to approve in substantial form and release a request for proposals for dockless bike share and to negotiate and enter into an agreement and all necessary documents with the successful vendor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Ott, Transportation Planning Director

By,

Rochelle Wheeler, Senior Transportation Coordinator

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Edwin Gato, Acting Finance Director

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Current LimeBike Agreement

2.                     Summary of Pilot-Period Data from LimeBike

3.                     Community Survey Summary

4.                     Community Survey - “Other” LIKE Responses

5.                     Community Survey - “Other” DISLIKE Responses

6.                     Community Survey -  Additional General Responses

7.                     Request for Proposals for Dockless Bike Share