On a Hot Streak, Alta Poised to Run Bay Area Bike-Share

The Bay Area’s bike-share system will likely be run by Alta Bicycle Share, an American vendor that already operates several systems in North America and Australia.

Alta runs Boston's Hubway Bike Share system, among others. Photo: ##http://thefosburyflop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Hubway-takes-to-the-streets-of-Boston1.jpg##The Fosbury Flop##

A board committee of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is expected to recommend selecting Alta tomorrow, according to a memo [PDF] from CEO Jack Broadbent. The memo says that Alta ranked the highest out of six bidders in meeting the agency’s criteria.

If awarded the contract, Alta would run a system initially consisting of 1,000 bicycles and 100 station kiosks — half in San Francisco and the other half in four cities in Silicon Valley. The contract would be capped at $5,969,000, according to the memo.

The Portland-based Alta already runs systems in Boston, Montreal, Melbourne, and Washington D.C., where the wildly successful Capital Bikeshare was recently reported to be nearly operationally profitable. Alta has also been selected to run systems in New York City and Chicago, expected to launch later this year.

In each city Alta has partnered with the Montreal-based Public Bicycle System Company, which manufactures the bikes and kiosks. PBSC also makes the equipment for the Barclays Cycle Hire in London.

Alta Bikeshare is an affiliate of Alta Planning + Design, a bicycle- and pedestrian-focused transportation planning firm which has an office in Berkeley.

The system is expected to be rolled out throughout August and September.

  • mikesonn

    1,000? I heard it was only 500 and 500 is a joke. Hopefully it’s 1k w/ plans in place for immediately bringing that number to several thousand within 12 months.

  • Smith

    500 within the city. Even 1,000 is a joke, but a well-targeted, transit-proximate joke.

  • The good news is that they’re calling this a “pilot” so it’s implied that future expansion is being planned. The trouble is that a coverage area so small probably won’t show people what bike-share can really do.

  • I think there are enough people living in the initial coverage area that word will spread and other neighborhoods in the city will want it.  It happened in DC, it could happen in SF.

    On a related note, Alta Planning is likely to get Marin’s Bikeshare Study contract tomorrow.  Likely, then, if the county ever gets the system it’ll be integrated with BAAQMD’s.

  • Anonymous

    One of my pet peeves is in articles like this, it says things like “BAAQMD is expected to recommend selecting Alta tomorrow.” Did that happen? Is Alta our chosen bike share provider? Are we still on track for August and September?

    Is there a reason these ridiculously exciting pieces of information aren’t constantly being shared with us?


Bike-Share Delayed Again: Launch Now Set as Late as January

In yet another delay, the Bay Area’s bike-share system will now launch as late as January, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The launch of the 1,000-bike system has been repeatedly delayed since the SF Municipal Transportation Agency first said it would happen this spring. The target date was then moved to […]

Bixi Bankruptcy: What Does It Mean for American Bike-Share?

The Montreal-based equipment supplier for several American bike-share systems, including New York’s Citi Bike and Chicago’s Divvy, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. It’s unclear exactly how the restructuring or sale of the company known as Bixi will play out, but the bankruptcy filing could accelerate the transition to more robust and reliable hardware and software. […]