The Indianapolis Board of Public Works awarded $1 million in federal funds to B-Cycle LLC, a Wisconsin company that will bring its bike-rental service to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
The public works board on Wednesday afternoon awarded the contract, which allows B-Cycle to spend up to $1.5 million to install its electronic stations and purchase bikes. Any spending beyond the federal funds will be covered by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., a private not-for-profit entity that's supposed to raise money for maintaining the eight-mile path.
The bike-rental program will be the responsibility of ICT Inc., which will collaborate with Bollore Group, a French company that plans to invest $35 million in a car-sharing service in Indianapolis.
A request for proposals issued by ICT and the city in December 2011 anticipated 24 bike-sharing stations with 300 bikes. ICT will hold two public meetings to take input on exact locations. The meetings will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on June 27 and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on July 10. Both meetings will be at The Platform, 202 E. Market St. Comments will also be collected at www.indyculturaltrail.org, beginning on June 27.
B-Cycle allows users to buy short-term and long-term memberships online or 24-hour passes at its stations. The stations operate with electronic locks, and the bikes can be released with a swipe of a pass card or through the adjoining payment kiosk.Seriously? We're spending federal tax dollars on bike rentals? This is just another example of how ignorant the people we entrust to spend our government tax dollars are. This type of spending should have been the first cuts made when the sequester law took place. We supposedly lack funds to operate the control towers at airports, but we have money to hand over to private businesses to start up new bike rental companies. Mayor Greg Ballard probably thinks this is a wonderful investment of public dollars. Have fun getting mugged riding that rental bike on the Cultural Trail because of fewer police officers patrolling due to budget cuts.