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Posted on: May 27, 2021

City Issues RFP for Bike Share Program in Portland

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The City of Portland is looking for companies interested in providing design, marketing, operation, and maintenance of a bike share system in Portland. The City anticipates the first year of the program being a provisional pilot period with possible extensions subsequent to agreement by both parties. The expectation is that the selected provider would initiate a pilot no later than June 2022. 


“Expanded ways for people to safely bike in Portland is consistently mentioned by residents as something they value and hope to see more of,” said Christine Grimando, the City’s Planning & Urban Development Director. “Having a bike share system in Portland will be a fantastic opportunity for us to increase affordable, healthy transit and recreation options for all."


The City’s goals for the bike share program are to:


  • Promote and encourage bicycling as a safe and sustainable mode of transportation for short local trips,

  • Expand low-cost, low barrier and equitable transportation options,

  • Provide additional first-mile and last-mile options to the city’s transit stops and transportation hubs (bus, ferry, passenger rail, inter-city bus, and airport),

  • Decrease drive alone trips and increase the share of bicycling trips within Portland,

  • Support Transportation Demand Management programs of institutions, businesses and other entities, and

  • Expand tourist travel options and encourage car-free visits to Portland.


The program area may encompass the entire city, but proposals may also define a smaller geographic area in which to propose an initial pilot program. The number of bicycles comprising the bike share fleet during the initial pilot program year is to be proposed by the provider, subject to approval by the City. Provisions for the addition of more fleet bicycles during the pilot period and subsequent years will be evaluated as the program progresses and may be allowed, at the discretion of the City, based on demonstrated utilization rates and provider compliance with an approved operations and maintenance plan.

   

The system’s configuration may be dockless, station-based or a combination/hybrid system. Proposed fleets during the pilot period may consist of both non-electric and electric-assist bicycles. Electric-assist bikes are strongly encouraged. No electric-only bikes are permitted as part of the program. No e-scooter share programs are allowed as part of the pilot period. Bike share bicycles should be available on-demand, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through a range of membership options.  


The selected provider will be responsible for all aspects of the bike share program, including system planning, any necessary permitting, design, equipment purchases, construction/installation, pre- launch and ongoing marketing, operations and maintenance, ongoing customer service, financial transaction handling, dispute resolution, and evaluation and reporting.


The ideal proposal will result in a self-sufficient, independently operated system. It is preferred that the system be sustained by a combination of funding streams, including sponsorships, membership revenues, and bike share system fees.


Portland has a robust multimodal transportation system for a smaller mid-sized city. It has growing bike and trail networks, several fixed route bus providers, a public ferry system serving eight islands, Amtrak passenger rail service, two inter-city bus companies, and is home to the Portland International Jetport. Portland’s bike network has been evolving for the last 20 years. It currently has 22 miles of bike lanes, nine miles of shared use pathways, and five and a half miles of bicycle boulevards with additional miles of each type in planning and design. 


Information about Portland’s bike network can be found here.  


Proposals are due by Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 3:00 PM. Copies of the RFP are available by contacting the City’s Purchasing Department via email at ccleveland@portlandmaine.gov or by phone at 207-874-8654. 

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