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.”



Filed under Environment, Texana, Urban cycling

5 responses to “Bike-sharing for Fort Worth?

  1. At a time when Fort Worth can’t keep libraries open, I have trouble seeing how they can justify even $100k for something like this, much less the added $900k it would take to make it real. What comes next, a Prius share program? Anyone who wants to ride a bike can get one. I paid $12 for my Falcon. I really can’t see this appeal to more than the impulse rider.

  2. Scott

    I second Steve’s response. Not only are there inexpensive bikes of all makes and models, I seem to remember a bike donation/give away program at one time.
    Those who ride, ride. Those who don’t won’t no matter how much money the city throws at them.

  3. Jonesy

    Not sure if ya’ll read that it was the T not the City who would be running the program (which are different entities). I think this is a great idea for the urban areas of Fort Worth.

  4. Jonesy makes a good point. This is the same T that runs no busses at all out to Fort Worth Alliance Airport which is a major employment center. Formerly, they did run one single bus there each day – at odd hours when few would ride it. Somehow, I’m not encouraged.

  5. On a recent business trip to Washington, DC, I very much appreciated the bike share program they have; it allowed me to visit the National Mall for the first time and take in quite a bit in an evening before the sun went down. I couldn’t have seen nearly as much if it weren’t for the bike share.

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