Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Arlington, Virginia Releases Bike-sharing Tender
Arlington County, Virginia has released a Request for Proposals for the operation of the Arlington Bike-sharing Program (RFP #56-09). The tender proposes a unique relationship between a local government and bike-sharing operator. The vendor will be responsible for operating the service, which includes administration, maintaining and distributing bikes, and collecting data. Arlington’s responsibilities will be for marketing the service, finding advertisements for the bikes, and providing some customer care. A pre-bid conference for interested vendors will be held on March 5 and the RFP will close on April 2.
The tender has the vendor purchasing “an off-the-shelf system, if not having a system of its own devise, and operating it for the public’s benefit.” Even just one year ago there weren’t many options for off-the-shelf systems, but now a handful are on the market, including Public Bike System, nextbike, Intrago, Smoove, and B-cycle. Arlington will keep revenues generated from the service, which include the membership and usage fees as well as advertisement revenues. The tender also offers incentives for meeting strict performance standards and fines for not doing so.
Arlington County does not allow on-street advertising with bus shelters, kiosks, billboards, and the like, so it is unable to have a bike-sharing service offered as part of an advertising contract as many cities have done. It is hoping to compensate for this by having advertisements on the bikes, as this form of advertising is legal in the public domain in Arlington, to assist with the financial sustainability of the program.
MetroBike, LLC assisted Arlington County develop its tender.
image credit: BikeArlington