EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A revolutionary transportation system is ready to launch in Kansas City through the implementation of a public bicycle sharing system. Referred to commonly as “bike share,” BikeShareKC has initiated a process to implement a full-scale bike sharing system in the heart of the city. Bike sharing will add a new innovative, healthy and economical mode of transportation to the mix in Kansas City.
Why Bike Sharing:
Bike sharing allows users to check out bicycles from public bike docking stations located at key areas around town. Through either memberships or daily fees, a rider can use the bicycle for short distance trips around town. The rider then returns the bicycle to another docking station for another person to use. Each station contains multiple bikes to check out, and docking stations for check-out/return are located at critical locations that have been selected for their convenience, intersection with other transportation modes, or proximity to business and entertainment venues.
Not every trip must be by car. Part of a commitment to a healthy and vibrant community should include bike share as a transportation option. Bike sharing is environmentally friendly and improves air quality. It replaces car traffic for many short trips, reduces parking congestion, and extends the reach of public transportation – resulting in healthier residents. Many businesses and popular attractions are within just a few blocks – beyond easy walking distance but too cumbersome for driving and parking.
Riders pay for the trip with their credit card. Each bike is GPS-enabled, allowing both the rider and the provider the ability to track usage, including health-related data. In order to ensure working bikes are always available at key locations and times, a street team working for BikeShareKC monitors the system, moves bikes as needed, and initiates repairs.
Kansas City is ready for a new, alternative method of transportation – one that includes a personal upside. Our rates of walking, cycling, and transit usage are less than half the national average. Residents and visitors will benefit from inexpensive and quick access to public bicycles that encourage more active transportation. Bike sharing represents an easy step for the City and local businesses to begin to improve the community’s attitudes about health. Bike sharing encourages people to have an active lifestyle on simple terms. And, peer cities – like Portland, Denver and Omaha – are implementing bike sharing, which attracts young, progressive and active residents and workers.
BikeShareKC is a project of BikeWalkKC, the preeminent advocacy and education organization for bicycling and walking in Greater Kansas City. BikeWalkKC is the unified voice for active living, promoting a healthy, safe and accessible outdoor experience for all in a vibrant, engaged community. We work to improve the quality of life and economy of the region by improving residents’ options for transportation, recreation, and fitness.
Operations BikeShareKC is a spinoff entity of BikeWalkKC, the metro’s premiere cycling and pedestrian advocacy and education nonprofit. BikeShareKC was started in late 2011 and will operate as a Missouri limited liability company. The operator will employ at least 3 full time employees and will contract with 2-3 local businesses for ancillary services (repair, advertising, accounting/legal).
Bike sharing represents an easy step for the city and local businesses to begin improving the community’s attitude about health.
BikeShareKC expects a minimal storefront with most consumer interface via our webpage or via public displays and demonstrations. During winter months, the operation will be shut down and removed to secure storage
System Size and Growth BikeShareKC intends to start the system with 200 bikes and 20 stations from Downtown to Crown Center. In year two, 100 additional bikes and 10 stations will be added in either Midtown or the Plaza. In year three, another 100 bikes and 10 stations will be added to the alternate geographic area. The three target areas, including anticipated bike station locations, have been determined by a detailed GIS analysis performed by local planning firm Vireo. The flexibility of the system (movable stations) ensures that BikeShareKC can adapt the system to promote maximum use and growth as determined by real data and experience.
Target BikeShareKC will have two initial target users. Professionals who live and work in downtown Kansas City will likely make up the majority of subscribing yearly members, and tourists will likely be the highest users of day passes. BikeShare station kiosks allow for ease of payment
Paying for Bike Share The initial investment in bike sharing consists of equipment – stations, bikes, and ancillary software and installation costs. BikeShareKC seeks a Presenting Sponsor for the purchase of the initial capital – 200 bikes and 20 stations – and certain related costs for $1.2M. Annual operations for the first three years are anticipated to cost about $600K. BikeShareKC will fund the program through a combination of rider fees (~$300K) and advertising/sponsorship revenue (~$300K). Any excess year-to-year will be reinvested into expansion until the appropriate system size is reached. Initial planned expansion will require additional capital via sponsorship.
Current Partners Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBS) has provided important project support, including funding to create a feasibility study and business plan. BCBS has been a major sponsor of bike sharing programs in other cities. BikeShare demo at Kansas City’s First Fridays, Summer 2011
Benefits Bike sharing is more than just a means of getting from point A to B – it represents innovation, prestige and progress for Kansas City. Our city’s new bike sharing system will be a concrete step toward defining Kansas City as an exciting, vibrant, and inviting city where people want to live, work and play. BikeShareKC builds on the success of the burgeoning bike sharing concept that has taken root in many US cities. Bike sharing will add major value to Kansas City’s status as a bicycle friendly community, giving residents and visitors more opportunities for active living and encouraging more people to seek active modes of transportation.
Lastly, a portion of the revenue generated by BikeShareKC will be dedicated to funding BikeWalkKC’s ongoing education and encouragement programming in order to increase the overall awareness of bicycling in the Kansas City region. This will encourage even more people to use active transportation – which will encourage implementation of the region’s long-awaited bicycle and greenway plans.
What We Need In order to complete this effort, we must plant a seed for major growth. BikeShareKC is a quick, inexpensive way to transform the transportation, health, and environmental landscape of Kansas City. BikeShareKC will encourage thousands of residents, workers and visitors to choose active transportation.
BikeShareKC seeks exceptional help – from fiscal sponsors, in-kind partners, and civic supporters – to make bike sharing a reality in Kansas City. BikeShareKC needs funding for capital equipment purchases, sponsorship for ongoing operating expense, community and civic support for installation and implementation, and general publicity to encourage use of the system by residents and visitors.
ABOUT BikeWalkKC BikeWalkKC is built on a strong foundation of successful programs, winning advocacy campaigns and experienced leadership. We work to fulfill our mission by 1) Educating the public with classes and clinics on bicycling and walking,
BikeWalkKC’s vision, among other things, is a Kansas City region that provides transportation options. We aim to see a metro area that supports healthy lifestyles through active transportation and outdoor recreation. BikeWalkKC envisions a Kansas City Region where, in 10 years: •
Bicycling and walking rates exceed the national average.
2) Encouraging more walking and bicycling with programs and events, and
75% of metro residents live in a Bicycle and Pedestrianfriendly Community and have a Complete Streets Policy.
3) Advocating for more facilities and better laws, policies, and urban plans. Our work is supported by a strong membership development program and robust financial plan that includes memberships, corporate investment, grants, contracts, and fees for service.
Trails can connect. Kansas City is the natural meeting point for the famous Katy Trail State Park and Kansas’ growing Flint Hills Nature Trail. We will work with local, state, and national leaders to fund and build the trail while preserving space for a future transit system.
The region will have 1000 miles of new sidewalks and 500 miles of new bike lanes.
All local governments enforce strict sidewalk snow removal ordinances.
Staff BikeWalkKC is staffed by highly qualified individuals with extensive local and national experience in bicycling and walking issues.
Eric Rogers Executive Director. Advocacy, public policy, information technology.
Sarah Shipley Communications Director. Marketing, fundraising, development, membership.
Eric Bunch Director of Education. Curriculum development, classroom instruction, public policy.
Board of Directors BikeWalkKC is fortunate to have an excellent Board composed of community leaders representing advocacy, higher education, business, law, accounting, nonprofit, and other areas. Mary Birkel – Metropolitan Community College, Marie Farrell – Global Prairie, David Garrett – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Tyler Henson – JE Dunn, Brent Hugh – Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, David Jennings – Leawood Police Department, Andy Olson – Hallmark Cards, Ron Puett – Kansas City Bicycle Club, Steven Rhoades – Vireo (formerly Patti Banks Associates), Carl Schipfmann – HNTB, Michelle Schmiedeler – Metropolitan Community College, Mark Spangler – KanBikeWalk, Sheila Styron – The Whole Person, Barbara Thomas – American Jazz Museum, Dan Walsh – DW Group, LLC