Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another bike-sharing coming to Boise story

Such is the implication of this article at the Boise Weekly. In the form or 140 or so bikes, at 10 or so stations.

Back in November, I commented on an earlier story at the Statesman website. I was amazed at the $650K cost, which figures out to about $4600 per bike. Mostly paid by government grants - those taxpayers NEVER run out of money, do they?!! (Although they are suggesting there will be a $55-75 annual fee, paid by ongoing participants.)

I also commented in October about the similar "Hubway" bike-sharing program we observed in Boston.

There's a big difference between Boise and Boston, or Denver, or any of the other big cities where bike-sharing is taking root. Many big-city dwellers don't have a private motor vehicle; they make do with public transportation. And many don't have a garage or other place to conveniently park a bike in their 500-square-foot, $3000-per-month dwelling space. How many Boiseoids have similar constraints? I'm unconvinced we have the population density to make such a project feasible, even if we are "a bike-friendly city," as asserted by Ms. Sanders of the Downtown Association.

Bike sharing would be a nice thing to have in Boise! It would be particularly nice for visitors, who aren't lugging their own bikes with them, and would like to rent a bike for day trips up and down the greenbelt, etc. But when we're already $15 trillion in debt, I don't feel good about spending $650,000 of my great grandkids' money to subsidize the thing. Call me chintzy!

(Thanks to Ellen for bringing this Boise Weekly article to my attention!)

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