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City prepares to give bike sharing a spin

No tax dollars needed. Idea should pay for itself
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City Council will be asked Monday to approve first steps leading to a six-month trial for local bicycle sharing.

"Staff anticipate the trial would be done on a break-even basis without investment from the municipality other than services in kind," says Brent Lamming, the city's director of community services.

"Many bike-share systems allow people to rent a bike from a 'dock' and return it at another dock belonging to the same system," Lamming says in a memorandum to Mayor Christian Provenzano and City Council.

"Docks are special bike racks or locks that lock the bike and only release it by computer control. The user enters payment information and the computer unlocks a bike. The user returns the bike by placing it in the dock, which locks it in place."

Lamming pointed out that dockless bike-sharing systems are also available.

Smartphone apps show the locations of nearby bikes and open docks.

If councillors agree to give the idea a spin, the city will issue a request for proposals including:

  • key areas to be serviced in the community
  • smart app technology for mobile payment capability
  • day-to-day support
  • contact number, website
  • what type of support provided
  • value of the operation and ownership model proposed
  • fee structure to the public
  • references and insurance
  • quality of the installation plan and methodology
  • quality of the proposed bike units
  • quality of the user interface
  • quality of the services proposed
  • value-added components and partnership leveraging
  • compatibility with existing Sault Ste. Marie infrastructure
  • timeframe to implement

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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