Daily Archives: July 6, 2011

Bike-sharing for Fort Worth?


Fort Worth could begin implementing a bike-sharing program next year, making it only the second city in Texas, after San Antonio, to have such a plan.
The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, the T, included in its proposed 2012 budget $100,000 to be used as start-up money for a bike-sharing program, Gordon Dickson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported today in his transportation blog, Honkin’ Mad.
“The idea would be to install bike racks across town, and allow residents to rent bikes as needed — a concept that has worked in other metro areas, and recently was started in San Antonio,” Dickson wrote.
San Antonio launched its bike-sharing program, called San Antonio B-cycle, on March 26. About 10 U.S. cities have bike-sharing programs, including Washington, Denver, Chicago, Miami Beach and Des Moines. Boston, New York and San Francisco have plans in the works.
In Fort Worth, a bike-sharing system would be run by the T.
Dickson wrote in the Star-Telegram May 18: “Generally, a city of Fort Worth’s size would need $500,000 to $800,000 to start a program, including the cost of buying approximately 200 three-speed bikes and a few dozen bike racks that could be placed around the city.”

A bike-sharing station set up earlier this year as a demonstration near Fort Worth's City Hall. Photo by Kevin Buchanan

In his blog post today, he estimated the cost of a bike-sharing program at $1 million. That amount wasn’t funded in the T’s proposed budget for 2012, Dickson wrote. But Mike Brennan of Fort Worth South, a member of the T board of directors, persuaded the T staff to include the $100,000 as start-up money, “to ensure matching funds would be available for any grants or sponsorships that come down the pike.”
The T would likely need grant funds to pay the initial costs of a bike-sharing plan, the Star-Telegram quoted T spokeswoman Joan Hunter as saying in its May 18 report.
The T’s long-term strategic plan adopted last year called for starting a bike-sharing program within five years, but if there is enough interest the program could be up and running in about a year, she said.
The 2012 budget was discussed during a workshop today at the T’s east Fort Worth headquarters, Dickson reported in his blog. “The T board is expected to approve the budget July 20. The document would then go to the Fort Worth City Council for ratification or changes.”

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Filed under Environment, Texana, Urban cycling