Update: The City Council Meeting took place on Wednesday, September 4th. Over 300 people submitted testimony AGAINST Resolution 19-204, while over 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 as it is a non-profit, and is also 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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.