Puget Sound Bike Share takes a big step forward today by launching its search for a vendor.
With sponsors starting to line up and relatively new Executive Director Holly Houser at the helm, the regional bike share network is starting to take strong form. State grants will give a big boost to the initial launch by pumping $750,000 into the University District’s element of the first roll-out phase.
The organization hopes to select a vendor by March, with an anticipated launch of the first phase in spring of 2014.
Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) inviting qualified bike share operator/vendors to compete for business deploying and operating a bike share network in the Puget Sound area. Identifying a bike share operator/vendor marks a major milestone for the progress of the nonprofit partnership.
Puget Sound Bike Share Executive Director Holly Houser explained the importance of the RFP by saying, “It’s thrilling to get to this point. The $750,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation covers some of our Phase I launch, but we can’t deliver a complete program without the partnership of major players in our community. With our operator/vendor in place we can begin making commitments on naming rights, station placement, and the other benefits to corporations, individuals or foundations that are interested in sponsoring bike share.”
Experienced bike share network operator/vendors can request instructions to download the RFP from firstname.lastname@example.org. Puget Sound Bike Share will review proposals and make a final decision on a bike share operator/vendor in mid-March 2013. The operator/vendor will develop, install, and operate the network with a target to launch Phase I in spring 2014.
Puget Sound Bike Share has been steadily growing and building support in the region. In December, the Washington State Department of Transportation recommended that King County receive a $750,000 grant for the purchase and installation of stations in the University District neighborhood. Puget Sound Bike Share has begun discussions with municipal leaders, developers, advocates and community planners on incorporating bike share stations into their designs and beginning a process for integrating stations to city streets.
“A few years ago a handful of community leaders began planning a bike share network in King County,” said Houser. “They transformed an idea into a nonprofit organization that is now very close to making bike share a reality. It is a testament to their dedication to proven innovations, and the enthusiasm of this community for healthy, low-impact transportation options that we are ready to take this step. The members of our board and the community that supports them deserve our congratulations and gratitude for getting us this far.”