Grand Forks bikeshare survey results are out

Just a quick post to let people digest these responses.  The results are available as a PDF here, including all responses, not just aggregate data.  An FAQ PDF (which many survey respondents appear not to have read) is available from the Greater Grand Forks Greenway here.

Update: WDAZ had a story on this last night which thankfully details the type of system we might have here.

4 thoughts on “Grand Forks bikeshare survey results are out”

  1. A.K. says:

    You can almost link some of the comments to users on areavoices. I think the key is after the initial expense, making the program self sufficient in the future.

  2. Matt BK says:

    Unfortunately, even if a DC/Boston/Minneapolis-style bikeshare program were to not lose money after a couple years, there would still be a certain number of very loud people who would continue to express their concern that it was a misuse of their taxpayer dollars. Breaking even with a system like that is difficult, even when you sell advertising on the bicycles and the kiosks.

    It’s an exciting idea, and the fact that there was even a survey about it is a step in the right direction, but the articles in the Herald about how the system would work and what the costs would be were too vague with too much hemming and hawing about the possible ways of doing this. I see the bikeshare possibility and I think it’s a good thing because I have experience with successful systems in place elsewhere; someone else sees it and they think of a single shack set up somewhere with one person sitting there all day to staff it.

    How do you think the program could be made “successful” in the eyes of the majority of Grand Forks residents? Do you think the general benefits of cycling and the choices inherent in having access to bicycles without having to maintain or even keep track of them most of the time will ever be embraced by people here?

  3. A.K. says:

    Good questions… proof to the sour individuals would be in the numbers that partake in the activity. Andy’s boathouse should be a good test of how things could work out. You need more than a few bikes, otherwise people will get sick of going to rent them out and find they are all checked out. Lots of bikes = lots of $$$. Given you could only use them from April-October (and that’s generous), I just don’t know if it’s the best way to spend finite resources ($$$) to promote cycling. I’d rather see the $$$ spent on developing new trails/bike lanes/etc. I think this might be a bigger bang for the tax payer buck.

  4. Matt BK says:

    You’ll probably see in my other comment that I don’t think bike lanes by themselves are going to change a lot of people: driving is too easy and we don’t have the numbers of a major metropolitan area. So split that money up among lanes, racks, and backing by employers and I’d be on your side.

    It’s a toss up. The WDAZ report only hits the highlights, but it looks like there might be some momentum there. A corporate sponsor would help to even out the funding: CitiBank just gave $41 million over 5 years to sponsor New York City’s new bikeshare program. MasterCard paid $6.5 million as secondary sponsor. There is sponsorship money out there somewhere, but you’re right that it’s going to take a careful balance between the amount of money available and the number of bicycles that need to be out there.

    I’m sure you’re about up to speed on the boathouse as I am. I’m hoping the federal nonprofit paperwork comes through soon, it would be amazing to get people out on the water by the end of the summer.

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