Since moving back to Arlington, Virginia, I have noticed that a number of bike sharing stations run by Capital Bikeshare have been set-up around the area. It started me wondering–what company runs these stations and how does the system work?
After doing a little digging, I found out that Capital Bikeshare operates under a company called Alta Bicycle Share, which runs the bike share program in a private/public partnership with the Arlington County government. Capital Bikeshare consists of over 1,700 bikes with approximately 175 bike docking stations spread across Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA . Bikes can be returned to any station near the user’s destination. Memberships options range from $7 per day for a one day pass to $75 for an annual commitment. Bikes are rented out at an average of around $8 per 30 minutes depending on the duration used and the type of membership plan purchased. If the bike has not been returned and correctly docked at a station after 24 hours, the company considers the bike stolen and charges a fee of $1,000 to the user’s credit card.
Alta Bicycle Share has also helped set up and run bike share operations in Europe and Australia as well as the United States and Canada. They have worked with private companies, universities and public entities to implement bike share projects. Since they are a privately held company revenue and growth projections are not publicly available. Alta Bicycle Share is an affiliate of Alta Planning + Design.
Alta Bicycle Share really does everything needed to get a bike share system up and running and keep it going. They perform an economic and feasibility analysis to determine if a bike sharing system is right for an area as well as to help create a business plan. In addition, they also can help determine the optimal locations for the bicycle share stations. As for ongoing bike maintenance, Alta Bicycle Share is accountable for the quality of the bicycles on the streets and provide bike rebalancing services to ensure there is the proper number of bike available at each station. Finally Alta Bicycle Share can handle the marketing, membership services, backend software, web site design and hosting, revenue collection and distribution needed to ensure the program is well managed. As you can see, Alta Bicycle Share provides full support for any group wishing to set up a bike share operation.
Implementing a bike share program is not without its challenges. The Alta Bicycle Share program in Chicago will not meet its initial go-live target of late summer and will be delayed until next year. Another big project in New York City was scheduled to begin last month but has been delayed due to software problems with no new starting date announced.
Alta Bicycle Share has developed an interesting niche in the green tech arena. They are clearly the leader in helping entities get their bike sharing programs up and running and would seem to have numerous opportunities to further partner with companies and municipalities across the country as the current penetration of bike share programs is low. High profile delays in Chicago and New York may, however, provide an opportunity for other companies to jump in and remove their first mover advantage.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative and should not be construed as personalized investment personalized advice. You are responsible for your own investment decisions.
Source: Alta Bicycle Share