Alta to get Portland bike share contract
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Alta Bicycle Share was selected to run Portland's bike share program.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced Friday that hometown favorite Alta Bicycle Share is the winner of a contract to develop the Portland Bike Share program.
While the contract has yet to be negotiated, Portland-based Alta Bicycle was selected as the finalist from three companies that submitted proposals to the city.
"Alta Bicycle Share is a good, homegrown company that has emerged as an international leader in operating bike share systems," Portland Mayor Sam Adams said in a statement.
Alta manages bike share systems in eight U.S. cities, but it hasn't had the smoothest year, missing target dates for launching more than one new program.
The company's high-profile contract to design and launch a bike share program in New York City was delayed in August by nearly a full year due to problems with the technology the company uses to manage the checkout of bikes.
Alta works with a Canadian firm, Bixi — also known as PBSC — to develop the software that automates the stations for checking in and out bicycles.
Portland officials, working with Metro, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Community for Equity, reviewed the proposals from companies interested in the Portland bike share business. The vendors who were not selected — including B-cycle of Waterloo, Wis. — have seven days to protest.
Regional leaders approved the use of $2 million of federal transportation funds in 2011 for a bike share system in Portland. These funds will leverage private investment – in the form of sponsorships, membership revenues and user fees – to cover costs.
The target date for launching the Portland program is next spring, according to the Portland Bike Share website.
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