I discovered the old bids for the city’s 2002 street furniture RFP at the city’s website and skimmed over some of the info. On page 100 of Adshel (Clear Channel)’s proposal [giant scanned PDF] there’s this proposal. Note that this proposal was rejected (primarily, it would seem, because their bid provided the least cash revenue to the city), and that JCDecaux’s winning proposal included, among other things, a $500K annual contribution to those tourist trolleys. Again, Adshel did not win Chicago’s contract, but they did win D.C.’s, and so Smart Bikes will launch there this year. (I’ve written about European bike share schemes more generally before.) Retyped:
CYCLE CHICAGO… Adshel’s proven public bicycle fleet program, another value added amenity offering to the City…
This forward-looking Adshel innovation is known as “Plan Vélo” in the company’s programs across France, Norway and Sweden, but in now way should it be construed as a uniquely European phenomenon… Adshel’s Coordinated Street Furniture Program will supplement the [Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory] Council’s accomplishments… with an expandable system designed to minimize Loop grid crawl, called Cycle Chicago.
Cycle Chicago in Operation
Cycle Chicago will reduce traffic congestion and improve Loop air quality by introducing a vital new component to intermodal transit that provides an enjoyable alternative to short single occupancy vehicle trips. Cycle Chicago consists of 50 fully automated, attendant-free docking stations. 20 will be positions adjacent to subway, El, and Metra stations in the CBD, 20 located among office building concentrations in the Loop, and 10 distributed for more recreational use across the Museum Campus and lakeshore, a total of 750 bicycles.
Bike use is administered via credit card, debit card and smart card technology, smart cards vended in coordination with the CTA and RTA and through Adshel’s I+ Interactive Information Kiosks. A nominal fee is charged, typically $10/month for unlimited use, and an hourly rate of $1.50. We anticipate the program will be in full use from April 1 through October 31 each year. All costs associated with Adshel’s Cycle Chicago Program are borne by the company…
[operational details similar to existing systems]
Docking station capacity of 15 bicycles is maintained via perpetually circulating… redistribution trucks… In three years of operation… a total of two thefts have occurred. The bicycles are maintained in rotation in the Adshel repair shop and the entire fleet is warehoused by Adshel from November 1 through March 31… As further commitments to the success of biking in Chicago, Adshel will provide additional Cycle Chicago docking stations as requested by the City, up to six docking stations (90 bicycles) per year, contingent on thresholds of measured use and demand.
The total value quoted by the city’s auditor (Deloitte) is a suspiciously low $254,000 for all 50 — $338.67 per bicycle, including fixtures and installation? Nah.
Interestingly, page 228 shows a siting plan for bus shelters at Polish Triangle that also places… a vending kiosk along the Ashland side.