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Posted on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor moving ahead with first public bike sharing program of its kind in Michigan

By Ryan J. Stanton


Commuting around downtown by bicycle is a common occurrence in Ann Arbor. Starting next spring, anyone age 18 and up will be able to join Ann Arbor's new bike share program as either a daily, weekly or annual member.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The Ann Arbor City Council voted 9-2 Thursday night to move forward with launching a community bike sharing program by next April.

The city is entering an agreement with the local nonprofit Clean Energy Coalition for implementation and operation of the program, which is expected to include 14 stations with 125 bicycles.

Stations will be located in and around downtown and the University of Michigan campus. Anyone age 18 and up will be able to join as either a daily, weekly or annual member with easy access to rentable bicycles by swiping either a membership card or credit card at the kiosk.


Eli Cooper, the city's transportation program manager, said bike sharing offers an opportunity to dramatically increase bicycling in Ann Arbor, one of the city's stated goals.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Bicycles can be returned to any station in the network.

Information provided to council members shows day passes costing $5, weekly passes costing $20 and annual memberships costing $60.

The CEC secured a $600,000 federal grant for capital costs and the city is providing $150,000 in matching funds from its Alternative Transportation Fund over the next two years.

The University of Michigan also has pledged $600,000 to help cover operations for the first three years, with memberships and other sponsorships expected to cover the rest.

The CEC is leading the drive to establish a bike share program in Ann Arbor. City officials said they believe it will be the first publicly available bike share program of its kind in Michigan.

Eli Cooper, the city's transportation program manager, said bike sharing offers an opportunity to dramatically increase bicycling in Ann Arbor. Modern bike-sharing is quickly growing in popularity in the U.S., he said, with more than 20 systems having launched in recent years.

"This will do nothing but ramp up the acceleration of acceptability of bicycling," Cooper said. "With the bike share cycles being used around town, there will be more likelihood that folks will recognize that the road is not for automobiles alone."

The CEC has collaborated with several partners in developing the program, including the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, the university and the city.

The CEC, in partnership with AATA, secured a Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant worth $600,000 for program capital costs. B-cycle has been selected as the vendor and will be providing the bicycles and other equipment.

B-cycle systems are operational in 18 communities across the U.S., including Boulder, Colo., and Madison, Wis.

Members of Ann Arbor's bike share program will be able to access bikes in any B-cycle system for no additional membership cost.

The preliminary station locations in Ann Arbor include: Kerrytown; Main Street area; adjacent to the Ann Arbor District Library/Blake Transit Center; along the Liberty corridor at Liberty Plaza; State Street area; South University area; and other key locations on the U-M campuses.

The stations are expected to be operational seven days a week from 5 a.m. to midnight, from April through November.

The bike share program is intended to provide quick, short trips. Members will be able to use bikes for up to 30 minutes for free. Usage fees will be incurred for longer rides.

Council Member Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, said she's encouraged the program is becoming a reality since she pushed for it three years ago.

"This is about small-scale commuting, and that encourages me," she said. "This is about moving from the corner of State and Liberty to the corner of Huron and Main to go to a meeting. To me, that's the benefit is that people — instead of getting in their car and driving from point to point — would actually be able to park their car and pick up a bike."


An example of a B-cycle bike sharing station.

City of Ann Arbor

Council Members Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, and Sally Hart Petersen, D-2nd Ward, were the only two to vote against the bike share program.

They expressed concerns about adding more bicyclists to downtown streets and the need to better educate bicyclists and motorists about sharing the road.

"I just don't feel like our city has the safety infrastructure right now to support this. Until it does, my vote is going to be 'not yet,' " Petersen said.

Council Member Stephen Kunselman, who regularly commutes around downtown by bicycle, said a bike share program is a great way for people to make short trips around downtown.

"If we've all been downtown, we've seen so many abandoned bikes cluttering the bike racks — both on the U of M campus and within the city sidewalks," he said. "And by having a bike share program where somebody doesn't have to buy a bike and use it very little, this will provide an opportunity to allow people to use bikes, but also clean up our streets."

Council Member Jane Lumm, an Independent who represents the 2nd Ward, raised concerns about costs and cautioned it could be a "failed experiment," but she ultimately voted for it.

The tentative budget plan provided to council shows $145,312 in annual staffing costs for the program, including $82,555 for a program manager, $35,545 for field operations support, $16,511 for marketing and $10,712 for oversight and administration.

"There's going to be a lot of administrative planning and preparation work that's going to go on through the fall and into the winter," Cooper said. "The bicycles are going to be assembled, but that's going to happen in a factory in Wisconsin. The stuff will be shipped here in the spring."

Memberships are expected to be available for purchase in late 2013 or early 2014. Residents are encouraged to email with any suggestions or questions.

Visit for more information.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

I'm happy we are testing a new bike share technology in Lansing. More Bike Share anywhere and everywhere in Michigan is a good thing and every community will need to decide how they do it.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

Excellent program and happy to see city council support.

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

I was just walking to a friend the other day about this. He is of Dutch origin, but has also lived in France recently. He pointed out that for being a city which prides itself on being bike friendly, we don't do that very well considering other examples throughout the world (e.g. bike lanes completely disappear where the road narrows, as opposed to putting a dotted line). He's amazed that we build so many parking lots/structures right in central downtown. I tend to agree. This bike program has the opportunity to minimize car use in the immediate downtown area. People can walk or bus (or train) into downtown, then check out a bike to get to specific places. Some folks here have commented negatively on the idea that people park, then bike. That's actually not a bad thing at all. As the population of our city increases, it's going to be harder and harder for everyone to drive to the exact location they want to access in the central downtown area. This program can help minimize that need. People can park on the street or the lots towards the edge of downtown, then bike into central downtown area for their needs. Likewise, people who work downtown can zip across that area on lunch breaks, etc. Ann Arbor has the potential to have an even larger, more dynamic biking culture downtown. I'm all for it. It's better for our environment, our health and our socialization.

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

"You can see where my head is at" Yes.

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

*talking. You can see where my head is at :) This mini-documentary is quite fascinating and educational on the topic.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

Any person who wants a bike can afford even a beater. This is such a waste of money, time and energy. $142K for a PM? To have people ride a bike? Are you serious? So, how is the person getting to these bike rental kiosk? Are they walking? Well they can continue to walk to their destinations! If they drive downtown tol rent a bike to use locally to complete errands, doesn't that defeat the whole concept of using a bike? Once more, the only city I'm aware of that has a Transportation Coordinator position whose only purpose is to figure out ways to rid the city of cars. This is nothing but a feel good moment for the tree-huggers and I'm certain this will fail as did that coupon recycle program. And let me preface, I'm a bike rider. I typically park my car on the weekends and use my bike to get around and often ride my bike from Pittsfield township into Ann Arbor, while using my car to commute on the freeway to work over 80 miles daily.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Until bikes follow automobile safety rules, stopping at lights and stop signs, putting more bikes downtown is a bad idea. Who covers the law suits when a biker sues for injury or accident due to bike failure? Our taxes?

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Actually, the more bikes you have, the more that people will be enticed into following the rules because they will be moving en masse - and the riders will not own the bikes.

Jack Gladney

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

0K. I've changed my mind. This is a great idea. But I'd like see them use the Mayor in their TV commercials with him dressed in his best tie-dye satin shirt and with a Hendrix perm lip-syncing Pink Floyd's "Bike".... I've got a bike. You can ride it if you like. It's got a basket, a bell that rings and Things to make it look good. I'd give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it. You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world. I'll give you anything, everything if you want things.... (Note: It is now known that Syd Barrett was in the grips of insanity when he wrote that song.)

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

Some have questioned whether Ann Arbor officials are correct to claim this will be the first community bike share program of its kind in Michigan and some of you have observed there are versions of bike share programs up and running in other cities. (Some also remember there was a failed experiment with "green bikes" in Ann Arbor many years ago.) I sought clarification from the folks over at the Clean Energy Coalition who have worked extensively on this. They said there are other systems that do exist in Michigan, but some argue they function more like "rental programs," not community bike shares. And the program that is rolling out in Lansing, according to news articles, is a three-month pilot program with 20 bikes — not quite the full-fledged program Ann Arbor is launching here. Heather Seyfarth, program supervisor at the CEC, said there are some small bike share programs, including one in Detroit on the Quicken Loans campus and one in Ypsilanti at Beal Properties, but those are both private programs, not a community-based program like Ann Arbor is planning to roll out next April.

Charley Sullivan

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

SO it's the first * * * bike-share program in Michigan . . .


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Not against the concept but can't this be a commercial venture not a public funded one? Also, I thought this was trending as more of a big city thing. Can a small city like Ann Arbor afford to support this? Especially in light of other important priorities?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

So the city pays all of the costs. And the company keeps all of the profits from $10/hour user fees? What happens if they city wants to cancel? What do they get to keep?

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

Cool FREE bikes....I'm going to paint mine green

Jamie P.

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

My biggest concern is that the bicyclist in Ann Arbor already don't follow the rules of the road while they are driving. They leave the bike lanes, weave in between cars, blow through red lights and stop signs and then sometimes decide to return to the sidewalk when its convenient for them. Right on the A2Gov website " Ann Arbor and Michigan laws classify bicycles as vehicles and requires them to follow the rules of the road."

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Cars do all of those same things, with fare more dire consequences.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

System worked great in Charlotte. They had them in before the Dem convention. Key will be to make certain bikes don't wind up somewhere in Wayne County.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

A bicycle is not the same as walking in Michigan, you can't be ticketed under the motor code act, yet some folks want to pretend they are in a car while riding a bike, crazy. Love Toronto, those folks know how to ride a bike over there, Around here I see some clown sitting in the center lane with no oncoming traffic thinking he needs to wait until the light turns green make the turn..where do they teach this stuff, look at MSP website, a bicycle is not like a car in Michigan, in some sates yes but not Michigan


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

Make that "the same as walking" sorry, go to MSP under bicycle laws


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

After reviewing these dollar amounts, I can't believe no one is in trouble for greenlighting this. You could pretty much buy every person in town a bike for this, and that's just for the 1st year. The town is so full of bikes already that many are just abandoned and remain u-locked to lamps, street signs, porch rails, etc. So we're going to pay astronomical costs per bike and add some tax-salaried (and what kind of pension) people to oversee the "program?" What is wrong with you people? Why is no one getting fired? Why is there no outrage over ADDING to city STAFF? This town is freaking insane. I'm disappointed that Lumm voted for this.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

Maybe look deeper into WHO is getting paid


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Dumb. The price per-bike in the program is an absurd $10,000 (not even counting revenues). Students will rarely use them because basic bikes are really cheap (so cheap they often don't bother take them home when they leave town, and the U has to eventually cut them off the racks). And your own bike goes right from your apartment to class and back (I'm pretty sure none of the stations are going to be located in the 'student ghettos'). Sabra Briere says this is intended to get from "State & Liberty to Huron & Main?" Google Maps says that trip is all of...half a mile. A 10 minute walk. There are people unwilling or unable to walk half a mile -- but those people aren't going to ride, either.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

I can ride my bicycle just about everywhere you can walk, even down steps. They make some great bikes today, disc brakes and rims that can take heavy abuse, I love my bike, I out run anything on foot..expect Mr Bolt, lol


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Riding a bicycle is much easier on the feet vs walking. Won't go on a trip without bring my bike along anymore.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

I support aspects of this program but have to agree, if you can't make that 6 blocks without renting a bike something is wrong. Walking it is even shorter, cause you can cut through places.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

$600,000 in tax dollars, another $150,000 in local tax dollars, and $600,000 in tuition money to buy people bikes to ride. And then annual salaries to run a program that could go to a police officer or fireman (or both). This city is really broken.

E Claire

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

Right, let's just keep the drunks on the road. The families of those killed by drunk drivers would surely agree with you.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

This is what taxes SHOULD be used for. Not these drunk driving stings at 4 am in the morning when most folks are in bed. Not fancy electric road signs that tell you the next freeway is 10 mins away. This bike sharing program benefits more people and helps people to get around town so they can shop-work in the city.

Jack Gladney

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

We now need government to provide us with, and to help us with our bicycles. I will no longer be shocked when I read about a new government-paid program for assisting Americans with certain bathroom hygiene. Also for those questioning the costs: The reason this is going to cost millions over a few years' time is that the grant money is there right now to spend, and if WE don't spend it, someone else will get that FREE money. So yes, 125 bikes do cost more than $1.3 million. It hurts my brain.

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

I think you need to reread the article Jack. The 1.3 million does not pay just for bikes. It pays for the entire system (including the initial implementation here in the city). It's mass transit in the sense that it's a government funded option for people to share a transit resource.

Jack Gladney

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

Jaime. I'm not sure how many people you are gonna fit on a bike, but it certainly will fall far short of what anyone could call mass transit. Also, we're talking about $11,000 for a bike. That's the number eleven followed by three zeros. With a dollar sign in front of it. Yes, for a bike. $11,000. Bike. For that kind of money, we could buy snacks for Mexicotte, Snead and Company at AAPS for two years and still have a cool grand in loose change to buy a unicorn with its own rainbow and a pack of sparkles.

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Government helps fund our busses and trains. Why wouldn't they help fund another form of mass transit?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

I you folks down there in Ann Arbor think the world revolves around your city but hey a different city in Michigan already has a bike share program. Ironically the one in Lansing is an off shot of the A2 Bike Share. The only difference is Lansing's bikes are installed around town. So please correct your headline because it is wrong

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Are you saying lansing has roads? I thought it was still all farm fields and cows.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

I wonder if the photo used for this article staged. I see a bicyclist dutifully stopped at a light as he waits for a pedestrian to cross - something I rarely see in this city.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Maybe it was in a different state, in Michigan you can't be ticketed on a bike--well not under your drivers license, maybe fined IF you cause an accident but it doesn't go on your driving record. MSP website states, a bicycle is not a vehicle in Michigan. How it should be, if traffic is clear, get on your way and keep out of the way of traffic.

It's hard to hide from facts

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Ann Arbor Council, shame on you! Buying from Wisconsin? We have two new bicycle companies right here in Michigan. I have nothing against Wisconsin, but there is a movement underway to purchase local in case you were not aware.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

This kind of bike is not manufactured in Michigan as far as I found. At least they are not Made in China. (as far as I know)

Don Duck

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

This and the artwork they plan to install down at the cascades. Apparently the city council only provides lip service to the thought of the buy local movement but not in practice.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Ironically communities like A2 in Michigan were at the forefront of the buy local movement. What happened?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Great, and the group that is going to pay when someone sues because their kid/wife/husband got hurt on one of these and didn't have a helmet on will likely be us taxpayers.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

Gosh we really shouldn't let the citizens ever leave their houses.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

Pretty hard to sue today

Rodney Nanney

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

Does block access to Google, Yahoo, and Bing from company computers? A simple Google search would have found that Escanaba, MI has had a very successful bike-sharing program for a couple of years now, and neighboring Gladstone recently started a companion program. Embarrassing.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 8:59 a.m.

@Rodney — As I replied to you by email, I did read several articles about what they're doing in other cities, including Escanaba. I believe this comes down to semantics and I'll be sure to be careful how it's worded from now on. What city officials are saying is it's the first community-based public bike share program of its kind in Michigan. ( I've added the phrase "of its kind" to the story to be a bit more precise.) What you're going to see roll out in Ann Arbor is vastly different than what's in Escanaba. Ann Arbor is going to have a full-fledged bike share program, as bike sharing has come to be known in cities throughout the country, with 125 bikes at 14 electronic kiosks where you can swipe a card, grab a bike, and be on your way.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

This is not the first bike-share program in Ann Arbor, either: in the 1980s there was a program on UM's central campus that involved a number of cheap, simple bikes, all painted green, that were parked (unlocked) around campus. People were supposed to ride them from place to place and leave them in the racks for the next person. It worked pretty well for a while, until attrition, theft, and random damage diminished the numbers to the point of uselessness.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

While I get your point that the claim that this is the "first" in MI may be disingenuous, I have to say I don't think the Escanaba/Gladstone system can really be called a "bike share" in the sense that A2's system will be. In Escanaba you have to go to a place and present an I.D. and get the bike checked out for a day. The service is free, so it feels like a community-driven "sharing" program, but it's not really the same thing as A2 is proposing (or as the now-famous program in NYC). In Escanaba, you have no claim for use of that bike if they do not want to rent it to you. It's more like the bike rentals at Mackinaw Island but just the rental fee = $0. A bike share, technically speaking, is when your membership fee goes to a part ownership of the bikes (like a time share of a condo). I can't claim that the statement that A2's would be the first in Michigan is true, I just don't know. But I think that the Escanaba program does not really disprove that assertion either. It's just not the same.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

Waste of money. It would have made more sense to put money towards a downtown LINK route for AATA, more people can use it including handicapped people and people with children in tow. If people want to be green downtown they should walk.

E Claire

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Finally someone who makes sense. Why would I drive downtown, pay to park my car, then pay to rent a bike to go shopping or out to eat? As you state, I'd just walk. If a person is not physically able to walk, I don't see how a bike is going to help.

Joel A. Levitt

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

I'm ready to sign up now and give the CEC $60 toward the startup costs. They should consider creating stations at the busy shopping locations along Stadium and Washtenaw, and it will be essential that the police department enforce the traffic laws, both those pertaining to autos and those pertaining to bikes.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

Yes, because only 5 of the 8 car-bicycle accidents on Washtenaw since 2008 have occurred along that stretch, and Washtenaw Avenue only carries about 26,000-28,000 cars per day by the shopping centers. (And I am certain that volume isn't going to go up at all once the new strip mall at Platt opens up.) What possible harm could come from adding bicyclists loaded down with shopping bags into this mix?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

Oh, here are the hidden charges. They're big! Did this get discussed at the meeting? In Madison the over charges are as follows for people who are paid members: 0-30 minute checkout: $0 31-60 minute checkout: $2 each addl 30 minutes: $5 Max charge per day is $75 I typically rent cars for about $30/day, and cannot recall the last time I rented a car for $75/day. This is an abuse of the word "share". This is not a share, it is an aggressive rental. This pricing is somewhat predatory, and I now question putting taxpayer dollars into supporting it. I think a true bike share would be great, but this is not that.

Dog Guy

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:36 p.m.

Dad, I met a really nice coed downtown and checked out a couple of community bike sharing program bicycles to ride over to Mosher-Jordan and didn't get them back before midnight so could you send me $300?

Samuel Burns

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

@JM Actually, bike-share is to bike rental as ZipCars are to Avis rental cars. If I need to run to Meijer for groceries, I'll reserve a ZipCar for an hour for $7. If I need to go to Detroit for the day, I'd rent from a traditional car rental service for $30/day.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

This is not a captive little island, full of tourists and no cars.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

You're missing one important point, though. Bike-share is to bike rental as taxicabs are to Avis rental cars. I'll explain. If you need a car to get from A2 to DTW airport, you'd choose a cab before going and renting a car to make the trip. The cab is convenient, direct, and it saves a lot of time. Renting a car would take more time, you'd have to get yourself to the business to actually rent it, and you'd have to hope they have a branch at the airport. Although the cab costs more per mile, per minute, etc, it's the smarter option for short, point-to-point trips. Think of bike share as the taxicab equivalent of bike rental. It's intended for short, point-to-point trips, and it's not intended for an "all-day" bike rental.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

The fees are set up so folks will SHARE and not HOG the bike all day


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Probably both, the state parks rent bikes as do private companies. Mackinaw Island is a tourist trap environment, much like downtown Ann Arbor, so it seemed like a good comparison. Still, free for the first half hour and $2/hour for the first hour is not too bad. I wouldn't call them big hidden charges.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

DJBudSonic, who runs the bike program on Mackinaw Island? The private sector? Or some aspect of Government?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Try getting a bike for less on Mackinaw Island. The share aspect is that the bikes are used by all in a common system, and that the parties involved share the costs of the system, in this case the City of Ann Arbor has a 10% share of the total, with Federal and UM dollars making up the rest.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

I am so glad that they are spending my tax dollars on a program that will only benefit downtown.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

If it benefits downtown businesses then it's good for the tax base. We are all in this together.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

Do you complain about the money spent on downtown sidewalks and streets, too? How about bus routes that only service downtown?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

"Members will be able to use bikes for up to 30 minutes for free. Usage fees will be incurred for longer rides." 30 minutes is short if you stop to have a conversation with someone, or end up stuck in a store. How much are those fees? Who gets those fees?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

So where will these stations be located? It says just downtown and Univeristy. If it is University, why isn't the University kicking in some cash to make this happen? Why is it solely on Ann Arbor taxpayers?

Samuel Burns

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.


Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Thanks. Missed it, being in the next paragraph.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

Read article please. UM is in for $600,000 over three years, minimum.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

"Council Members Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, and Sally Hart Petersen, D-2nd Ward, were the only two to vote against the bike share program. They expressed concerns about adding more bicyclists to downtown streets and the need to better educate bicyclists and motorists about sharing the road." So glad Higgins will soon be history. The idea of stopping a bike share when students bring many thousands of bikes to town each year is just goofy.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Will bibyclists be ticketed when they blast through stop signs? I was carefully tracking a cyclist, being oh so careful to watch for any rash movements. He went through a stop sign on Liberty and because I had my eye on him, I also went through...stupid me. Guess who got the ticket. Cyclists must be ticketed when breaking traffic rules!!


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

I had a woman biker tell me they didn't have to follow motorized vehicle laws. Recently I witnessed a policeman stop 4 bicyclists riding 4 abreast taking up both lanes on a 2 lane road, don't know if he ticketed them or not but at least he stopped them.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:53 p.m.

That is perhaps the most ridiculous story I've heard all day. If you can't handle 2 simultaneous bits of traffic "information" (e.g. stop sign, cyclist), you shouldn't be driving. Of course the cyclist should have been ticketed too, but if I was a cop and saw both but could only pull one or the other over, the obvious person to pull over is the driver ... as they are capable of killing someone else with their disregard of traffic signals.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

You don't get the bike rider concept of "share the road"... the bike rider gets to do whatever they want and the cars and people have to get out of their way. Best move I've seen by a copper when he stopped some traffic disobeying bikes - the copper made the bike riders do a field sobriety test, in their cool shoes. You know, the shoes that aren't made for walking or anything besides being hitched to a pedal? Those bike folks, they can't walk too well.

David Barnett

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

Bicyclists should definitely be ticketed, but if I were an officer and I saw a bike which would only hurt it's rider or a car blow through a stop sign, I know which I'd chose to ticket.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

cars also, oh please, cars also


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

You would think no one would steal something they could rent for $5 a day, but Ann Arbor is cheek-by-jowl with bright, creative people. For its new program, NYC deliberately chose expensive, special, yet undesirable bikes that apparently weigh as much as a 1952 Crosley, although it's unclear whether it's the coupe or sedan. We could do something to make our bikes distinctive, like decorate them with graffitti or offer a bounty for their safe return.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

So access to the bikes isn't 24 hour? I'm a fan a biking and bike shares in general, but if the stations are only downtown and don't extend to the residential areas, in not sure there's much value here. Ann Arbor has s fairly small downtown, and it only takes a couple minutes to walk from one side to another.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

I agree about the distribution of the stations, a few neighborhoods could benefit from this. It would be great to see them at outlying community centers, like Arrowwood, or Bryant. Since they are automated there is no reason they cannot be 24 hour service. Unless it is designed to prevent Drunk Biking?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

As the article says, the bikes are for quick short trips. If otherwise car driving people will park on the outskirts and use a bike to dash around downtown, that's great for relieving auto congestion. I like the idea. I see that it is limited and specific. I hope and assume that it will help downtown businesses. Someone parking at one end will be encouraged to dash across town for a shop or a restaurant. There are even sunny winter days when the sidewalks are clear when someone might make a short trip but not bike all the way to work or downtown.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

The wife and I were in New York City last weekend and saw program this there. I thought then it was a pretty neat idea and I didn't realize Ann Arbor was considering it. If it can work in a major city like New York you would think it could here.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

@kmhall, Isn't riding bikes on the sidewalks of A2 illegal?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:37 p.m.

I just used the London bike system a few weeks ago. Wonderful!

Samuel Burns

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

I used the "Boris bikes" in London every day to commute through the busiest part of central London (from Lambeth to Euston), before and during the summer Olympics. It was an amazing service, and I would have been willing to pay much more than a $60 annual fee. All the doom and gloom prophesies from the anti-bike crowd there never came to fruition.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

There are bike-share stations all over London, and on a couple of occasions I saw trucks pull up and unload more bikes to fill empty slots at a station. I didn't use it myself, but from the looks of it their program is well run.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

They had a similar system in Paris, and they were all over the place. It was one of those "why didn't I think of that" ideas.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

$1.3 million dollars. 125 bicycles. Nice bikes.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

A single hybrid bus costs around a million. And that doesn't include any operating costs, salaries, fuel, etc. Nice busses, eh? My point is, consider the context. A proper, modern bike-share system is a form of public transit. And it's the least-expensive form of it by far.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

There was a story a while ago about a local company starting a bike sharing program. What happened with that? Was the city afraid something was going to happen without using tax dollars to do it at three times the price? The whole "core services" idea stlll seems a long way away. Yet another business the city decides to enter into that it has no idea about, but that gets us more tax-paid positions and tax-paid administrative costs., it would be great if you stayed on top of this to find out ho many of trhese passes are purchased and used. From what I've seen, most people who want bikes have them.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

These administrative positions in the budget were not shown in any of the budget breakdowns I saw, the information I saw about the city's share ($150,000) were for the bikes, supporting hardware and installation of same. There were a few dollars for project management but not that much. I wonder where this info came from? Maybe these costs are part of the three annual $200,000 payments UM is making?

AA Neighbor

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

The AA Transportation Authority funds should be used to fix the streets so the bicyclists don't fall into a pothole and incur late charges while they're being treated at UM ER for their injuries.

Nora S.

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

What about helmets? Bring your own or ride at your own risk?

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

$145,312 in annual staffing costs for the program, including $82,555 for a program manager, $35,545 for field operations support, $16,511 for marketing and $10,712 for oversight and administration. I'm concerned that we aren't budgeting enough for the suites and ties.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Ever price out a public bus operation? Or a subway? Or how about light rail? This is by far the least-expensive form of public transportation a city could ask for.

AA Neighbor

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

How about liability insurance for the "oversights".

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

Excellent news! There will be concerns that this might not succeed. That is a possibility. We have to try though - for our community, for our planet.

Tom Joad

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:59 a.m.

I know technically these bikes are step-throughs but the common name is a "girl's bike". Hopefully they'll offer a masculine model as well...

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Craig, if you're serious, you need new pals :)

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Masculine is as masculine does. If a bike can make you feminine, then, well.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Does it really matter if a single row of buttons is on the left or the right?

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:32 a.m.

your not catching me riding no girls bike. My pals would never let me forget ;)

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

Does it really matter if a single piece of metal is bent downward vs. straight across?