Bike Share Feasibility Study

Update: On March 19, 2015 the Oregon Transportation Commission approved the City of Eugene's grant request of $909,066 to create a bike share system in Eugene.  Partner agencies are currently discussing operational funding and sponsorship.  Updates will be posted as they occur.


The City of Eugene and Lane Transit District (LTD) are exploring the feasibility of a bike share system in the region. Bike share is an innovative transportation program, whereby system subscribers have access to public bicycles through self-service kiosk locations throughout the community. The system is accessed through low-cost subscriptions ranging from one-day access to annual membership.
A bike share member can either swipe their membership key or credit card to release a bike from the station and can return it to any station in the system. The check-in and check-out transactions take a few seconds each. Therefore, bike share is ideal for short distance, point-to-point trips. Most systems allow subscribers to make as many trips as they like without additional charge, provided they return the bicycles to a station within 30 to 60 minutes. Operators generally begin to charge gradually increasing fees after this free period to discourage users from holding onto the bicycles when they are not being used, encouraging turnover and ensuring that bicycles are readily available for other system subscribers. In cities across the U.S. bike share systems have proven very popular and successful by giving residents and visitors a fast, affordable, easy-to-use transportation option.
The system in Eugene (with the option for expansion into Springfield) would enhance existing transit services and link to the small bike share program proposed for the University of Oregon campus.  


The final report and appendices are linked below.  Both are large files that may require considerable time to download.
Eugene Bike Share Feasibility Study Final Report 
Eugene Bike Share Feasibility Study Appendices (15.4MB)


niceride2_thumb.jpgBike share is an innovative transportation program, whereby system subscribers have access to bicycles through self-service kiosk locations throughout the community. The system is accessed through low-cost subscriptions ranging from a few dollars for one-day to annual memberships that in other communities generally cost between $60 and $100 per year.
Characteristics of a bike share program:
  • It is oriented to short-term, point-to-point use.
  • Most rides are only around 15-20 minutes and 1-3 miles.
  • The bicycle can be returned to any number of self-serve bike share stations, including the original check out location.
  • Generally, the bicycles are one style and easy to operate with simple components and adjustable seats.
  • The rental transaction is fully automated and there is no need for on-site staff.

Why bike share?
  • Reduction of personal transportation and health care costs (these items make up over 22% of average U.S. household spending).
  • Reduction in car-related carbon emissions (e.g. Denver B-cycle helped avoid 729,783 lbs of CO2 in 2011).
  • Healthy commuting alternative (30 minutes of daily exercise can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease).
  • Strengthen economic development and increase economic activity (77% of Deco Bike users in Miami were more likely to patronize a business with a bike share station close-by).
  • It provides first-mile and last-mile connections to transit and can also help relieve the pressure on over-capacity transit lines during peak hours.


How much will bike share cost to use?
Based on a study of comparable communities and responses to a community survey the proposed pricing structure for membership and ride fees is shown below.  Other pricing structures may be considered (e.g. monthly fees instead of annual memberships) as the system gets closer to launch.

Access Fee
Usage Fees
0-30 mins
Additional Half Hours

What forms of payment are accepted?
Most U.S. systems require a credit or debit card to become a member and check out a bike. This helps make riders more accountable for all ridership costs and prevents theft. Since this issue has presented some barriers for people who don’t have access to a credit or debit card, various systems around the U.S. have been implementing pilot programs to make their services more accessible. LTD and the City of Eugene will be evaluating different options to make bike sharing available to everyone.

How big will the bike share system be?
The feasibility study recommends a bike share system with 420 bikes, 46 stations, and 756 docks over 5 phases.  This system size reflects national best practices related to bike station density, coverage area, and optimal bikes per station to ensure system reliability. 

How much will the bike share system cost?
At full build out (5 phases) the capital cost is projected to be $2.3M.  The initial 2 phases that include the University of Oregon (funded) and downtown (unfunded) is $995,000.  This includes capital, installation, system startup, and pre-launch administrative costs.  Operation costs for all 5 phases is projected to be $2.6M which includes operation and upkeep.  Revenues and sponsorship cover a large portion of system operation costs but a shortfall averaging $240,000 per year is projected.  System partners and sponsors would need to cover this operating shortfall.  

Are theft and vandalism major concerns?
Existing bike sharing systems are built with security mechanisms that help deter theft or vandalism while withstanding year-round weather conditions. To this end, users must use a credit or debit card or their membership key to check out a bike, which creates user accountability. In a recent study, all existing systems reported less than 1% of bicycles vandalized or stolen.

Who will operate the bike share system?
The feasibility study identifies a non-profit owned and managed system for the Eugene Bike Share system: The non-profit can either choose to operate directly or hire a private operator. The City, LTD, and University of Oregon should have representation on the Board of Directors, be funding partners, and offer varying levels of in-kind services to the non-profit organization. Other major stakeholders will be other jurisdictions that join the system, sponsors and potentially service-oriented community members and businesses who offer in-kind donations to the system. The non-profit will be ultimately responsible for covering operating costs and raising capital funds for the system startup and expansion.

I like it!  When can I expect to ride a bike share bike in Eugene?
Soon!  The City of Eugene's grant request though Connect Oregon V was approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission on March 19th, 2015.  The grant application would fund infrastructure for phases 1 and 2 of the bike share system. However,the schedule for implementation is dependent on many factors.  Foremost, sponsorship and operational funding has to be secured before a system can launch.  Community partners are currently discussing formation of a non-profit operator and sponsorship opportunities to launch and grow the system over time.

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