Letter: Boise Bike Share

January 16, 2014 

Regarding "Prepare to pedal with Boise Bike Share in 2014," the startup cost is estimated at $650,000, funded by grants, and operation and maintenance costs are $300,000 to $400,000 annually. Valley Ride is "hoping" for 1,000 members, and "wants" costs to be covered by memberships and corporate sponsorships, rather than taxes.

What groups of people will use the bikes, and for what purposes? How many people are willing to pay at least $5 for a 30-minute ride? Are there independent data (not consultant- or vendor-supplied) from cities comparable to Boise?

I support our heavily subsidized bus system because many people depend on it. But the bike program appears to be based on overly optimistic assumptions and will have a very high cost for a relatively small number of users. It might be too late, but I can only hope that all agencies championing this proposal will require hard data and a realistic cost-benefit analysis. Otherwise, the only winners will be the vendors.

BILL FREEMAN, Boise

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