Last May, BoiseDev told you the future of Boise GreenBike was in jeopardy. Now, the bike-share program is facing more challenges, and will shut down – at least for now.
Vendor and sponsorship problems arise
One of the major issues Boise GreenBike was experiencing last year was finding a new vendor. Last fall, it selected Drop Mobility as the new bike-share provider. In an email newsletter, Boise GreenBike said Valley Regional Transit – its parent organization, felt the program was too small with just about 125 bikes, and wanted to grow it to more than 300.
But more bikes require more money.
Boise GreenBike reported 75% of its operating budget comes from title sponsorships. However, the bike-share company proposed its bike expansion plan to its title sponsors, St. Luke’s and SelectHealth, and they chose not to continue as sponsors.
The City of Boise chose to support Boise GreenBike through a one-time grant that runs out on September 30. Boise GreenBike said the end of the funding leaves it no option other than to hit the brakes on operations until at least next spring. The existing bikes will be removed from the streets, though the kiosks will remain in place – empty – for now.
VRT was working on new title sponsors, but after the coronavirus hit, the agency said many businesses lost interest. VRT needs to find one more title sponsor to launch its new all-electric system in the spring of 2021. Without a sponsor, it will “mean the end of bike share in Boise,” according to Boise GreenBike.
Boise GreenBike is giving riders the option to use their remaining credits or save their credits for the new system, if it launches. The bikes share company will not be giving cash refunds.
The new system will accept the remaining values from people who have monthly, student, annual and premium memberships accounts. For now, the auto-renew will be turned off on these accounts.
Starting immediately, there will be no long-term membership options.
Remaining bikes, racks and station hubs
The controllers will be shut off and removed from the bikes on October 1. Because the bikes function perfectly, VRT plans to find ways to reuse them.
Boise GreenBike will keep the bike racks and station hubs, as both can be used with the new program. Though, there will no longer be kiosks.