In 2015, the Planning and Development Department (P&D) sponsored an application for $3.7 million in federal funds to expand Houston's bike share program, known as Houston B-cycle. This expansion would add 71 bike station kiosks, 568 bicycles and 2 transport vehicles to the existing bike share network, which currently utilizes 33 stations. The bike share system becomes more useful as new stations are added by connecting more neighborhoods to job centers and recreational destinations.
On November 19, 2015, the Texas Transportation Commission passed Minute Order #114417 awarding project funding. The bike share expansion project was one of eleven City of Houston projects awarded and will be funded through the Transportation Alternatives Program under an Advance Funding Agreement (AFA) with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
P&D, along with the Strategic Procurement Division and Fleet Management Department, will manage the procurement contracts for the bike equipment and vehicles. This is a grant reimbursement project and requires a minimum local match of 20%. City Council approved Resolution 2016-0026 on August 10, 2016, to authorize local matching funds for the bike share expansion project. The attached AFA with TxDOT is necessary to secure the awarded funding for the project’s initial phase. This phase of the project will add 58 bike stations, 446 bicycles and 2 transport vehicles to the bike share network.
All costs for the project, including the local match, will be reimbursed by non-City parties. The AFA commits the City to providing the 20% required local match, paying for any cost overruns, meeting all the required environmental requirements, and meeting federal and state laws relating to the management and administration of State and federal funds. As a reimbursement project, the City is required to front costs before receiving reimbursement from TxDOT. The total cost of the project for both phases is estimated at $4,407,036. The 20% local match for this project is $880,780. Houston Bike Share (HBS), operator of the program, will pay the City the 20% local matching funds and any cost overruns. This arrangement with HBS will be contractually obligated via a second amendment to the Bike Share Agreement which is concurrently on this City Council agenda for approval under a separate action. The State Participation cost of $3,134 for the project will be paid by TxDOT. The project estimate in the AFA for this initial phase is $3,375,576 . A future phase of the project will add the remaining 13 bike stations and 122 bicycles, and an addendum to this AFA will be necessary at that time.
Patrick Walsh, P.E.
Planning and Development Department