Update: City Council Meeting on Wednesday, September 4th.  Over 300 people submitted testimony AGAINST Resolution 19-204, while 10 individuals submitted testimony in support of charging Biki for City space. We are so grateful for the overwhelming support and heartwarming stories shared by our riders and the community  - thank you so much! You can read the early and late testimony online. 

 

Despite the testimony, Council members passed the resolution 5 votes to 3 (1 absent) and Resolution 19-204 was adopted. The Department of Transportation Services is now responsible for deciding what this lease agreement will look like and implementing any rental fees. We will provide an update when we have more information. 

Resolution 19-204

A resolution has recently been proposed by a Councilwoman Tsuneyoshi of Council District 2 that, if passed, would negatively impact the future of Biki. We need your help! Please consider submitting testimony in opposition of Resolution 19-204

LEASE OR AGREEMENT WITH BIKESHARE HAWAII. Urging the City Administration to enter into a lease, subject to Council approval by resolution, or other lawful agreement with Bikeshare Hawaii requiring the nonprofit to pay the City reasonable compensation per square foot for use of City property for docking stations and other bikeshare equipment used in the Biki Bikeshare Program.

Potential Impact

If the City seeks a rent or permit fee for Biki’s use of public land, as proposed in Resolution 19-204, Bikeshare Hawaii may be forced to remove many of the Biki Stops on City property. We would work with private landowners to relocate some of the Biki Stops to private property, but this is a lengthy process and would likely result in smaller and more distant sites, making the Biki network less connected and less convenient. 

 

Currently, only 16 of our 136 Biki Stops are located on private property. Examples of these sites include HMSA, Whole Foods, Hale Mahana, Pacific Park Plaza, Prince Waikiki, and Queen Kapiolani Hotel. Bikeshare Hawaii currently does not, and can not, pay any landowner (public and private) for placing Biki Stops on their land.

 

This would result in both fewer Biki Stops and the relocation of some of the Biki Stops most-heavily used by residents. For example, Biki Stop #120 (on the wide sidewalk in front of HiSAM) serves many downtown employees who depend on Biki daily to commute to work. In fact, just last week it served as the starting or ending station for 879 Biki rides.

City Property

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Bikeshare Hawaii relies on grants and donations and could not afford to pay a rent or permit fee for Biki Stops on City property. Examples of Biki Stops on City property that may be removed if Resolution 19-204 passes: 

If Bikeshare Hawaii isn't paying the City rent, what has the City received in a return on their investment?

Bikeshare Hawaii is a 501(c)3 organization created in partnership with multiple City and State agencies as a low-cost strategy to help resolve issues important to Hawaii and Honolulu today: cost of living, traffic congestion, carbon emissions, and public health issues among others. Rather than have the City Transportation Department plan, develop, and take the financial risk to launch and manage a bikeshare system (like other large cities have done), the City and State agreed to invest $1M each in startup funds for the future non-profit organization. This unique organizational structure was determined by the 2014 Bikeshare Feasibility Study.

 

Bikeshare Hawaii would be responsible for raising all additional funds, through public and private grants and donations, to launch and manage the system long-term. The City offers public stations on its property so that Biki can afford to be the convenient network of stations that is required to provide an effective and reliable docked bikeshare service. 

 

Most major cities either directly operate or subsidize bikeshare operation contracts. Our City directly pays nothing ($0) annually into the on-going operations of the Biki system. Instead of such direct payments to sustain daily operations, all Biki fare revenue collected goes to our operating partner, Secure Bike Share Hawaii, to pay off the large initial equipment loan ($5M plus interest) and maintain Honolulu’s 24/7 bikeshare service.

HOW DOES BIKI COMPARE TO BIKESHARE IN OTHER CITIES?

Traditional Model

  • Using tax payer dollars, the City buys the bikeshare equipment.
  • Also using tax payer dollars, the City hires a for-profit operator to run the system for them.
  • Similar to TheBus.
  • Cost to the City: All equipment, all ongoing operating costs, any lost parking revenue.

Honolulu Model

  • The City helps start up a non-profit to set up the system and manage an operator.
  • The non-profit plans to sustain itself through grants and donations.
  • The for-profit operator receives fare revenue to help offset operations and equipment financing costs.
  • Cost to the City: Initial startup funds and lost parking revenue.

If Bikeshare Hawaii isn't paying the City rent, what has the City received in a return on their investment?

  • Environmental benefits: enabling more than 2.4 MILLION trips, reducing congestion and air and noise pollution.
    • 50% of Biki members reported driving less often since joining Biki. (2018 Survey)
  • Health benefits: providing an option that helps our community stay active.
    • 55% of Biki members reported exercising more often, 27% reported losing weight since joining Biki (2018 Survey)
  • Economic benefits: stimulating the local economy by bringing people to the street level and increasing access to businesses with limited parking or visibility. 
    • 63% of members reported using Biki to dine, 58% to shop, 55% reported visiting a new business since joining (2018 Survey)
  • Additional Community benefits: making streets safer, providing an opportunity for recreation, fostering face to face interactions. With recent grants and program initiatives, Biki has sought to expand use by seniors and youth, keeping our aging community active and healthy, and imbedding healthy and environmentally conscious habits into our community’s youth.

Bikeshare is a form of public transportation that enables one or two-way trips, similar to TheBus but on a smaller neighborhood scale by bike. TheBus does not pay for curb space for its stops, and is heavily subsidized by the City as a policy. TheBus is also an important community service provided by our City and should not be required to pay. Many cities, including Honolulu, choose to provide free parking for other green mobility modes, like electric vehicles. 

To date, 2.4 MILLION Biki rides have been taken.
To date, 2.4 MILLION Biki rides have been taken.

Bikeshare Hawaii is a non-profit with the charitable purpose to promoting health through bicycle use and providing community access to bicycle transportation. BSH has remained true to this mission, at times to the detriment of its revenues. As an example, BSH has devoted significant assets to placing stations in areas that serve Honolulu’s working-class families. These stations do not generate the same revenues as stations in Waikiki, but they serve our community. We believe it is appropriate to evaluate BSH with these community goals in mind, remembering that this mission is not necessarily shared by all participants in the shared mobility vehicle space.

Copy of OPPOSE RESOLUTION 19-204

The consequences of this resolution are severe and every individual voice makes a difference. Please consider submitting testimony in opposition of Resolution 19-204 by telling City Council that requiring Bikeshare Hawaii to pay a rent or permit fee on City property will negatively impact access to and availability of Biki.  

 

Be specific in how this will impact your daily commute and mobility options. Let them know what neighborhoods you live, work and visit and how a dense, reliable bikeshare system has made your life easier or more affordable.  PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL! 

 

Submit Testimony Online: http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 @ 4pm

Council/PH Committee: Council/Public Hearing

Agenda Item: Resolution 19-204

Your position on the matter: Oppose! Speaking from experience is best. 

Need an example? Here is a clear and concise example submitted as a letter to the editor in today's paper. 

 

Testify in-person

You can register to speak online: http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

Meeting Time: September 4, 2019 @ 10:00AM

Location: Honolulu Hale, 530 S King Street, Room 303

 

Please note: City Council meetings can take several hours and Resolution 19-204 is one of the last items on the Meeting Agenda. The Council also recesses from 12:30 - 1:30pm. If you wish to receive a text during the meeting with an update on the expected time, please email your mobile number to info@bikesharehawaii.org. 

We are so grateful for your support on this matter. We learned about the power of individual voices when Bill 82 CD1 attempted to prohibit all Biki Stops in Chinatown. There was overwhelming support from our members and the community against the Bill, with over 100 individuals submitting opposing testimony. Thank you for your help in maintaining the accessessibility, availability and future expansion of bikeshare.

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING BIKESHARE HAWAII