Why Would A Bike Share Not Work For Santa Fe?

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Analysis

A bike share program is a tax payer subsidized bike rental service.  After countless conversations with members and allies across the country, it has become clear that a bike share program in Santa Fe would be a misguided use of City funds.  We’re concerned that the current proposal or any other bike share program in Santa Fe may deepen existing economic, racial and geographic divides, lead to potential disparate impact for communities of color and prove to be an overall ineffective transportation model.  Our specific concerns include:

  • Expensive –
    It’d cost more than $50,000 for the first station.  That’s more than $3,000 per bike.  It’d cost even more for future stations and ongoing maintenance.
  • May Cause Future Bus Service Cuts –
    Bike sharing only works with multiple stations, but there’s only enough funding funding for one.  Money for more would need to come from somewhere.  Because both projects fall under “transportation” our already under-funded bus system could be raided and bus riders could wind up picking up the tab.
  • Won’t Serve Communities  of Color –
    A study by Santa Fe’s own Metropolitan Planning Organization predicted 94% of users would be white.  The current proposal places almost all future stations in the downtown area.  Only one future station is planned in the Airport Road area, which is composed of over 70% Hispanic residents.
  • Excludes Low-Income People and Youth –
    A bike share program would require a credit card to use.  Because many youth and low-income people don’t have one, they’ll be left out completely.

Why Is A Rebate A Better Idea?