Since Biki's launch in June 2017, Biki has succeeded in delivering Bikeshare Hawaii’s (BSH) mission to provide affordable, fun, and healthy mobility, even during the current pandemic. As a local non-profit organization, our relationship with the City is a partnership beyond a transactional collaboration.
Bikeshare Hawaii worked with the City and submitted all documentation as requested by the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) for the Auditor’s report. We will continue to work with DTS in 2021 to undertake any necessary actions during our contract period to make bikeshare a success for Honolulu.
Community and business stakeholders championed the need for bikeshare in Honolulu after years of discussion. The City Council then stated that it “strongly endorsed and supported” a public purpose bikeshare program through its Resolution 14-35 (February 2014) which requested the establishment and implementation of a bikeshare program, as it was “in the public interest” and urged the City departments (transportation, planning, parks, etc.) “to devote their best efforts” to establish one. The City’s Department of Planning and Permitting then completed its Honolulu Bikeshare Organizational Study (June 2014) which recommended where and how such a service would be structured.
Biki is managed by Bikeshare Hawaii as an “administrative non-profit” based on the previous study. Bikeshare Hawaii, Secure Bike Share Hawaii and the City are in a ‘P3’, a public-private partnership. This means the private sector assumes a major share of the risks in terms of financing and construction, from design and planning to long-term maintenance of equipment.
The City-Biki contract shifted the bikeshare implementation risks onto the nonprofit (Bikeshare Hawaii) and the for-profit operator (Secure Bike Share Hawaii), and away from the City in exchange for the use of city lands and support services, while promising to not take any system revenue during the contract period. Bikeshare Hawaii’s contract with Secure Bike Share Hawaii required BSH to take on any unforeseen costs that could occur during the contract period. Secure competed with four other private operators through a technical RFP process.
The City and State each provided an initial $1 million in start-up funds in 2015 to support the community and stakeholder planning process for the initial system: docked vs. dockless operation, station siting, and equipment vendor selection. The City and ALL other partners host Biki stations on their property free of charge due to the benefit to the community and their customers, employees and tenants.
Currently, 44 metered stalls are occupied by Biki stations. For comparison, TheBus has about 4200 bus stops on Oahu, many of which are located in town and would be metered parking spaces if not set aside for transit.
Biki provides a public bike transportation system that offers an affordable, healthy and environmentally-friendly option for residents and visitors. Its adoption by residents has been a greater success than originally envisioned.
Because of Bikeshare Hawaii’s partnership with the City, Biki is able to provide a more equitable system for local residents by offering lower membership rates, site placement in residential neighborhoods that generate less revenue, and adequate operational services. Bikeshare Hawaii as a non-profit is also able to attract additional sources of funds through grants and donations from businesses and individuals.
An example of this would be Bikeshare Hawaii’s months of fundraising among local businesses to collect $454,800 as the “local match” required to access $2,254,000 in federal aid funds (City Resolution 17-327). This effort funded the system expansion completed in 2018.
Read the 2019 Honolulu Bikeshare Report to learn more about some of the economic, environmental and health benefits bikeshare has brought the community.
We are very grateful to businesses and organizations including HMSA, Hawaii Pacific Health, ANA, Hawaiian Electric, Elemental Excelerator, and Ulupono Initiative for their support of Bikeshare Hawaii. All sponsorship funds directly support:
No bikeshare service in the US, like Biki, is a profitable service yet. Many bikeshare programs are subsidized by local governments as a component of their public transit service.
ALL Biki fare revenue goes towards paying off the initial equipment loan, and running daily operations including customer service, mechanics, rebalancing and sanitation. Biki’s operator, Secure Bike Share Hawaii, funded the initial 100 stations and 1000 bikes for approximately $4.2 million, taking the financial risk off the city. Additional start-up costs for establishing a local call center, office and bike maintenance shop brought this figure up to $5 million.
Currently, operations costs exceed fare revenues due to COVID-19’s impact on ridership and the loss of tourism. Historically, rides by tourists (casual riders) accounted for one third of the use, but two thirds of the system revenue. This pricing structure was set up intentionally so that visitors' longer recreational trips could subsidize low-cost memberships for local residents.
Service areas are selected based on population, demand, community requests and existing development and infrastructure. Bikeshare Hawaii contracts with engineering and planning firms to select and draw site plans for potential locations within these areas. The site plans include the location, size, surrounding utilities and the landowner (here's an example).
Bikeshare Hawaii does not want to take up parking spots, and only places sites in metered parking as a last resort. Preference of location is given in the following order:
After sites are reviewed and narrowed down, Bikeshare Hawaii conducts site visits and coordination with property owners before applying for the necessary permits. A permit is either approved or denied by the landowner. Additional outreach through public open houses, neighborhood boards and business associations is also conducted for service expansion into new districts.
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