Bike Share Feasibility Study
The City of Asheville’s bike share feasibility initiative has widened in scope to include consideration of electric scooters (also called e-scooters).
With federal grant assistance through the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City has commissioned Alta Planning + Design to evaluate the city’s readiness for a bike share, and now shared e-scooters, and to recommend next steps in getting or getting ready for bike and/or scooter share.
Bike share is a way for someone to use a bike for a short time at a reasonable rate. Some systems are station-based, like those in Washington, DC or Chattanooga, TN, and some use free-standing bikes like Lime Bike or Zagster.
Consultants are using the information they gathered from meetings with the public, stakeholders, and steering committee members, responses to the on-line survey, and through research of city plans and bike share best practices to make their report and recommendations on the potential for bike share in Asheville.
Community engagement through public meetings and online survey were conducted in 2018. More community engagement on this topic is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.
An update/report is expected to go to before City Council in March.
The goal of the study is to determine the viability of a bike share program and, if viable, to recommend what actions, organization, infrastructure, and equipment would be necessary to support a successful and equitable bike share in Asheville.
The project will include data inventory, collection and analysis; suitability and demand analysis; public engagement via several channels; bike share business model and implementation recommendations; recommendations regarding policy, funding and infrastructure barriers; and a draft and final feasibility study report. The process will be guided by a steering committee.
The committee will meet for the first time in late April. The committee is expected to continue to meet every 6-8 weeks until the project is completed.
In addition to the steering committee, there will be public involvement in the form of a handlebar tour, stakeholder interviews, public meetings, presentations to committees/commissions, and public online input opportunities.
This planning effort appears to be proceeding in a parallel path to the Greenway Connectors project, and so staff and consultants are exploring opportunities to combine public involvement efforts. The outcome of this investigation is not yet known.
This action aligns with the 2036 Council Vision for Transportation and Accessibility by making it easy to get around Asheville, and easy to live here without a car.
- Obtain a professional evaluation of Asheville’s readiness for a bike share program.
- If ready, recommend what actions, policies, organization, infrastructure, equipment, and equipment placement would be necessary to support a successful and equitable bike share system in Asheville.
- If not ready, get recommendations on what facilities and policies would need to be in place to make Asheville ready for bike share.
At the end of the project, a report will be provided that shows the next steps Asheville should take if it wants to move toward bike share, including what kind of bike share system would be most likely to succeed.
The study began with data gathering and then kick-off meetings with stakeholders and a steering committee in April.
A drop-in, open house style public meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 28, Asheville City Hall, First Floor Conference Room North, 70 Court Plaza, 28801. The meeting is designed to:
- provide information about bike share and this feasibility study
- answer any questions related to the study
- collect input about community goals for any future bike share system
- collect suggestions about the design and operation of any future bike share
The City of Asheville will provide milestone updates about the progress of the study. Please check back periodically for those updates.
Barb Mee, Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Coordinator