Aurora and Lawrenceburg, Indiana Develop Joint Bike Share Program

Outcomes and Conclusions

The River Cities Bike Share Program was a cost-effective method for mitigating climate change by providing transportation options that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additional Program benefits include decreased roadway traffic and air pollution, and increased community accessibility, property values, business visibility and physical fitness.

In its first year, the Program counted 6,400 bicycle rentals. Earnings from bicycle rentals totaled approximately $6,750 during this time.

Aurora’s city manager said the relationship between Dynamic Bicycles and the Cities of Aurora and Lawrenceburg was cost-effective and streamlined much of the process. Dynamic Bicycles had the expertise to ensure all considerations were brought to the table and financial decisions were made wisely.

The Program has the potential to expand to connect more neighboring cities along the Ohio River such as Rising Sun and Greendale, Indiana.

Challenges

The biggest challenge was the Bluetooth locks that had a 17% fail rate at the Program’s start. Each mobile phone interacted differently with the locking mechanisms—certain wireless phone service providers worked better than others and newer phones worked better than older phones. The failing locks required a hardware and software upgrade that allowed the Cities to identify when a Bluetooth connectivity issue occurred via an alert from the Movatic administration app. The upgrade included replacement sensors that improved the users’ ability to successfully check in the bicycles upon their return. Dynamic Bicycles offered these upgrades free of charge to resolve the issues.

Since the Program launched, four bicycles have been reported missing. Three of those four were quickly recovered when it was discovered that they were not properly locked in upon return. The unrecovered bicycle was replaced for $800.

The Cities have learned to take proactive, preventative steps to maintain the bicycles by ordering more replacement parts than they need in anticipation of needing more in the future. This tactic helped them resolve maintenance issues within 48 hours.

Aurora City Manager Guinevere Emery gave this advice:

"If I had to do it all over again, I would have a better understanding of how long it takes to establish a bike share program intended to span many years into the future. It wasn’t a deterrent, but it was unexpected. It took 18 months just to pursue the revenue resources and full project coordination needed to move forward with the launch. Once we received the funding, the project quickly fell into place. However, there were several logistics to coordinate."

Project Resources

For more information about the River Cities Bike Share, contact:
Guinevere Emery
City Manager, City of Aurora
gemery@aurora.in.us
513-505-7647