BikeHouston’s Letter Opposing Dockless Pilot Program

December 4, 2017
The Honorable Sylvester Turner
Mayor
City of Houston
901 Bagby Street
Houston, Texas 77002
Dear Mayor Turner:

Thank you for your efforts to create a pilot program for dockless bikeshare technology
in Houston. We particularly note ARA’s hard work to define parameters of this pilot
program.

BikeHouston believes that as the City approaches this regulatory task, the goal should
be a dockless bikeshare system that meets four fundamental goals.

  •  Position Houston for a successful test and successful launch of dockless
     bikeshare.
  •  Work well and be easy to navigate for users in all parts of the city, with
     particular attention to traditionally underserved neighborhoods.
  •  Make a positive, not negative contribution to the built-environment, including
     a benign impact on public rights of way, i.e., sidewalks, parks, etc.
  •  Provide user data that can be utilized in planning future bike plan projects.

We do not believe the proposed rules meet the above goals, and therefore we are
writing to express our opposition to the proposed pilot program and regulations
governing dockless bike share. We believe that the proposed pilot program will not
benefit the city or its residents and should be put on hold so that an alternative
approach can be considered.

Given concerns we heard expressed by council members in the TTI meeting, we believe
that an RFP process would allow the city to make a controlled choice of  dockless
bikeshare operator(s) during the pilot period via advance screening for organizational
bandwidth, experience, commitment to local management of the program, and quality
of implementation in other cities.  The city would also be able to evaluate each
operator’s approach to parking in the public ROW, tracking bikes for
rebalancing/redistribution, as well as relocating bikes left in unacceptable places.  The
RFP process could produce a single operator or multiple operators, and would allow the
city to screen candidate operators during the design process rather than based on real-
world complaints.

Sincerely,

John Long
Executive Director
Bike Houston

 

You can see the John’s comments in front of City Council by following this link: http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/12052017-1932

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