Boise Bike Share negotiations hit a snag

sberg@idahostatesman.comMarch 17, 2014 

— Social Bicycles, a New York-based company, has two weeks to sign a contract to provide bikes and stations for a bike-share system in Downtown Boise, said Dave Fotsch, executive director of Boise Bike Share.

Almost two months ago, a five-member panel chose Social Bicycles over competing bidders CycleHop and B-Cycle. Social Bicycles installed a bike-share program last year in Hailey and plans to expand it this year. Other cities around North America that operate Social Bicycles programs include Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa, San Francisco, Buffalo, N.Y., Hoboken, N.J., Providence, R.I., and Hamilton in Ontario, Canada.

The selection of Social Bicycles for Boise opened negotiations between the company and Boise Bike Share, a division of Treasure Valley public transportation authority Valley Regional Transit. Fotsch hoped to finalize a contract before the end of February.

But there have been misunderstandings on the company's part about requirements for doing business in Idaho and using federal grant money, as Boise Bike Share plans, Fotsch said.

"I don't think they fully understand what they signed," he said. "They need to pay a little closer attention because our patience is wearing thin."

Fotsch said the problems were related to details of the contract and weren't major obstacles. He expects Social Bicycles to sign the contract before the March 31 deadline.

"If we can't come to terms with them, then we go to the next (contractor) on the list," Fotsch said. "That's the hammer we're holding over their head."

Efforts to contact Social Bicycles on Monday were unsuccessful.

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