, 84 tweets, 10 min read
My Authors
Read all threads
OK, we're moving on to Scooters and B-Cycle. I think B-Cycle is up first.
Some quick facts:
B-Cycle has 300 bikes
15,000 yearly users
100,000 rides annually
(45,000 CU rides in 2019 of 106,000 rides total)
Nearly half of users take B-Cycle to public transit
35% replace car trips
B-Cycle has relied on sponsorship deals for a long time, but that has left it in the lurch before. Like when it almost went bankrupt in November when Kaiser Permanente pulled out.
Boulder put in $80,000 extra to prevent B-Cycle from shutting down.

The city has contributed $375,000 from 2011-2015 (grants or direct purchase)
$466,500 in ops/maintenance since 2011
B-Cycle has received additional $773,000 from fed, state grants
Annual city contribution is $65,000 annually from city ($50,000 from transportation dept and $10,000 from community vitality) = 65 cents per ride

With the extra $80K in 2019, that subsidy was $1.45 per ride.
Staff is recommending city and CU partner to increase funding and bring e-bikes into the B-Cycle fleet
But we'll get there.
Crowd has thinned considerably. But there is a representative from Lime here (I saw the logo on his sweatshirt) and possibly another company or two as well, judging from the new faces and that they're all in the same range of age and general attractiveness.
Why are reps for these companies always generically good looking? Like they could star in a Target commercial or something.

And do they have to be smart, too, or just kinda pretty? I mean, not that the two are mutually exclusive. I'm exhibit a right here.
Some interesting slides from staff on most popular docking stations and use by month.
I'm not sure how well you can see that but there it is nonetheless.
The monthly use data is interesting, too. Higher in the warm months, as expected, but Sept, Oct, Nov. 2019 were among the highest; winter use is trending up.

And it was *COLD* in Oct/Nov. Good on ya, B-Cyclers
DK (Dave Kemp) from transportation dept: Some of the bikes in the system are 10 yrs old. They need to be phased out.
Including with new e-bikes: They can get more ppl on bikes, they're great for our hilly terrain, Kemp says.
Cons of e-bikes: They go fast, they're expensive upfront and take more $$ for the city to operate and maintain
Here's what staff is suggesting for 2020 B-Cycle funding:
That level of funding would be enough to bring in 40 e-bikes, new transportation director Carlos Hernandez says.
Damn I hope that's his name.
CU is contributing $$ that it never has before, he says. Roughly in line with how many CU kids use B-Cycle (~42% of riders in 2019)
Nice to see such a specific funding breakdown. Staff typically doesn't go into that level of detail.
Two TAB members are coming up now. TAB wants to allow a pilot program for e-scooters, but we'll get to that later. Now is B-Cycle.
Alex Weinheimer, TAB member: "There's a lot of things going well in the system ... I've ridden a dozen dif systems around the country and they're not nearly as reliable."

Supports additional funding for TAB.
Young q for Weinheimer and Mark McIntyre, the other TAB member here: Is this $$ going to provide enough time for B-Cycle to come up with a plan?
Weinheimer: "I believe so. It also gives us more time to figure out other modes. It's certainly worth continuing for at least a year." What if private co. come in and then decide it's not worth it? "We'd be left with nothing."
And private co. charge more to customers, he says. There's an equity component to it.
Wallach: In the absence of a GO Boulder manager, how is that program going to be managed?

Chris Hagelin is serving as interim manager. (Not sure what happened to Kathleen Bracke...? She was the GO Boulder manager.)
Wallach: What portion of this funding represents acquisition of e-bikes?
Kemp: $185,000 is for ops/maintenance. The rest (~$90K) is for revamp and e-bikes. We could buy or lease.
Kemp: "The goal here is to get us started on the right foot, if you will, to begin experimenting and to evolve the organization."
Swetlik: What kind of data is collected from B-Cycle? And what's shared or sold?
Kemp: It's all public and none of it is sold.
Kemp: There's a lot of valuable data that can come from the private sector: Where ppl are riding, preferred routes, etc. We can add that into our contracts, that it gets shared with the data. But we can't control all private co. collection of data.
"There is potential for that data to be sold."
Weaver: I have an e-bike. I haven't noticed a ton of ops and maintenance costs. Why do you say that will be higher?
Kemp: It's about going out, servicing batteries that need charged. it's also about redistribution and rebalancing of bikes throughout the system. That can also affect costs.
Weaver: That seems like a fixed, upfront cost. It doesn't seem to me there should be a whole bunch of additional o&m
Kemp: We'll follow up and get specifics.
Weaver: Other cities with e-bike share, have they had any increase in injuries or conflicts with other users?
Kemp: Not that we've seen.
Going over the Dif classes of e-bikes
Class 1: Pedal assist (Kemp: "You only get the juice when you pedal")
Class 2: Pedal assist but also a little throttle
Those two go up to 20mph
Class 3: Can have either but go up to 28 mph
City would be incorporating Class 1 e-bikes into B-Cycle.
Any shared e-bikes, city could regulate the speed from 12-20 mph. (Speed on our multi-use paths is 15 mph, I believe)
Friend: What caused CU trips to double from 2017-2019?
Kemp: We moved under-performing stations to CU.
Friend: Non-resident trips are down. Is that bc we moved stations?
Kemp: We think it's due to the weather, particularly a rainy spring
Friend: CU's went up.
Kemp: At the end of 2019, not in the spring.
Also, those college kids are cray. Us old folks can't be out here riding in the rain. We'll get pneumonia.
(That was me, not Kemp, btw.)
Going over another interesting graph:
Yates is asking how we got to a 40/60 split between CU riders and Boulder resident riders. "It looks like 50/50," he says.

Weaver jumps in: 43% are CU, by my math.
Total trips last year: 106,000
CU trips last year: 45,000

CU made its offer based on its % of rides, staff says.
Yates: How much negotiating went into that?
Hernandez: They gave $15,000 last year. This year, they came to the table with $100,000. We said we'll get back to you. We were pretty happy they came with that.
Yates: I'd be interested in negotiating with CU. If we have a lot of students using these, it seems to me it would be fair to discuss increasing that 40% contribution.

Kemp (I think): They said they would increase their funding if ridership increases.
Yates: If we spend $100K on e-bikes, who own those: Us, B-Cycle, the university? What happens if this year of funding isn't enough to keep the program going.
Kemp: We don't know that know, if we would own or lease. "It's part of our plan to work that out."
Didn't know this: B-Cycle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trek.
Yates: Are they facing the same headwinds elsewhere in the U.S. as we are here?
Bigger cities are doing well. Smaller, midsize cities are struggling bc it costs more to buy and run. But you have a mix of success stories.
(idk who the guy is who is talking now; I didn't catch a name)
Sponsorship is often the wildcard, dude says. They work really, really well, but when they pull out, the bottom drops out.
Brockett: Do you think other docking stations are underperforming and you need to relocate them?
Yes, guy says. We've moved stations to denser parts of the city. "I do think that would be wise to do."
Weaver asks about ownership of the bikes again.
Kemp: Our intention, if we bought them, would be to retain ownership should the nonprofit close its doors. Then we could find another operator.
Kemp: We're trying to get B-Cycle to not rely on sponsorships, but that doesn't mean we're going to do away with sponsors altogether. What's appealing to co. is to do something new; maybe e-bikes will bring them in again.
Mark McIntyre, TAB member, is speaking now. So far, he's sat quietly by.

"This has not come before TAB; this is happening very quickly. I heard about it tonight in a meeting."
"I support this. I support not having a catastrophic failure. I prefer to buy the time. I think we need to be ready to evaluate completely different systems."
Yates: When do you meet next?
Feb. 10
Yates: Can we just fund enough to keep B-Cycle going and then revisit purchasing e-bikes, etc.?
But have TAB drill into that, Yates suggests.
Wallach echoes Yates. "It seems to me that going out and spending $100,000 on e-bikes .... in the absence of a funding model, we're kind of doubling down. Being asked to increase our funding by 2.5X. But we still don't know long-term prospects of this."
Dude whose name I don't know from B-Cycle: The nonprofit has been through rough times before. Last fall, our board looked at how much we'd need to shut down our system. $60K. We've never gotten through the winter with that much in the bank before.
OK, it is Kevin Crouse! Executive Director
Young: What kinds of ideas are on the table for funding models?
Crouse: When we talk to cities that are akin to Boulder ... all the cities with more successful sponsorship models are larger and denser. ... Media buyers tend to say 'You're a pretty small city.'
A lot of cities rely on sponsors but city transportation dept underwrites in case of losses.

Larger programs really drive use, Crouse says: Bulk purchases of passes by employers.
Young: What happens to decommissioned B-Cycle bikes (non e-bikes)?
Crouse: Denver is giving half of fleet to local nonprofit; they're being repurposed. Most of our bikes are in great, rideable condition even though some of them are 4,000 miles into their life.
Young: Would e-bikes use the same docking stations? Or reduce the number of stations bc they can go farther?
Crouse: Looking at Madison, Wisc. They're on course to triple use in 2019 that they had in 2018. The Dif is they are a larger, denser city.

E-bikes purchased for B-cycle would use same stations, yes, he said. Other vendors, would not.
RE: the number of station q. It could reduce number of stations, Crouse says. Clustering stations along multi-use paths would be helpful.
Brockett asks again about costs. How much would go to purchasing new equip?
Crouse: We're not looking to own e-bikes. We'd love to do a demo or lease them. Most of our costs are operating.

No more than $30,000-$35,000 toward purchasing.
Yates asking Brockett's q more specifically. How do we go from an $80,000 loss (Kaiser sponsorship) to a $275,000 need?
Crouse: It's to give more planning time than just get us through the end of the year. Dockless bikes might land and cut into our revenue stream, so we budgeted that it's going down. And we aren't relying on sponsorships anymore. We don't think we'll get one.
Weaver: I think we need to make sure to support B-Cycle at this point. Not all of our transport modes make money. If we want to support options for transit, it's 25 metric tons of CO2 avoided each year .... "we absolutely want to make sure it can survive."
CU's jump here is "massive." From $15K per year to $100K... "I'm not going to quibble with them," Weaver says.
TAB should weigh in before we give more $$ for equipment, but e-bikes "change ppl's perspective" of what B-Cycle can be. "It's a decade in. You have to refresh and renew."
Weaver: "I want to put out full-throated support" for B-Cycle. Mentions Apple, Google expansions (probably hinting that they should sponsor)
Kemp: The HOP is currently subsidized by city/CU for $2.60 per rider, and then more from RTD. This would be a $1.65 per ride subsidy
Friend: I want TAB to look at this. It feels "haphazard" and rushed.
Brockett: I echo Weaver's full-throated support. I think by saying look at this a little differently, I don't think that takes away from support.
Q from Joseph that is confusing everyone:
Can e-scooters and e-bikes coexist?
Absolutely, Kemp says.
Hernandez summarizing council's input: We're going forward with $185,000 in funding to keep B-Cycle going past March 1. After that, we'll move forward with TAB to explore introducing e-bikes (and potentially more funding).
Young trying to ascertain council member's feelings on asking CU for more $$. She doesn't want to.
Friend either. Brockett agrees.
Brockett putting a caveat on Hernandez's summary: I don't think we're specific on the amount of $$. Whatever it takes to keep B-Cycle going, fine. But don't start on any major changes or upgrades without going through TAB.
So that's where we stand: Boulder will keep B-Cycle operational and then revisit larger changes and funding models with TAB, to return to council.

@threadreaderapp please unroll. I'll do a new one for e-scooters.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Shay Castle

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!