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Bikeshare needs a more reliable source of funding than CMAQ. Arlington should follow DC's lead (and NYC's) and sell advertising on bikeshare.

"splain me this. AFAIK CABI is a prepaid fee system. You pay with a major credit card before you get the bike. How does a 50% recovery rate on fare boxes figure in this scenario? What am I missing here?

"It's expected that the expansion of the system will lead to increased shortages in operations revenue, due to a farebox recovery rate of about 50%. The overall system makes money, but not Arlington's share of it. "

Fare box recovery refers to how much of the operation cost is covered by user fees (at the farebox or otherwise). So if it costs $100 to run it and they bring in $50 of revenue, that's a 50% farebox recovery rate. It is not a measure of how much of the money that is due is collected.

@Falls Church - Arlington has a legal block to selling advertising on the stations. And I've heard there's even a difference of opinion (within the County) on advertising on bikes (which I think is silly, given that Metro buses are giant rolling billboards). While I'm certainly sympathetic to and share Arlington's historic lack of interest in expanding advertising into our daily lives, I think it's worth looking hard at the realistic revenues advertising might bring in.

@Washcycle - we're in full agreement about the thoroughness of the TDP. Chris Hamilton and everyone involved in this process deserves a lot of credit.

I believe that advertising could bring political protection as well as revenues. When the corporate world buys in to bikesharing, I believe some of the right-wingnut radio guys -- who are making is so difficult for conservative Congressmen to support bike sharing and biking in general -- will back off some.

Glad to see that another station will be added to the Potomac Yard area of Arlington. The existing station is frequently full or empty, and it's a few blocks to the closest station.

I think it is sad that the only way private companies will contribute is if they get advertising rights. Whatever happened to contributing to the public good because it is good for society overall?

Crystal City BID is a public/private group that co-sponsored most of the Crystal City stations. Some developers have pledged to pay for new bike stations, including possible stations at the new regional Boeing HQ, the new Harris Teeter in Old Town and the future redevelopment in Arlandria.

It's kind of difficult to ask for private support without advertising rights though. I can't completely blame them for that approach. If too much non-productive money goes out the door, they aren't going to be in business for long.

I'm not sure that's totally fair. Private companies are often among the biggest donors at most charities.

And I'll paraphrase something that Warren Buffett said about this. He said that given a choice between having a company donate money to a charity of the board's choosing or giving it to shareholders they should give it to shareholders. What if the board chooses a charity that some stockholders don't like or oppose (like Planned Parenthood)? What if the board members gets something in return (which is quite common)? That creates perverse incentives. What if some stockholders NEED that money to pay for heating and food.

Better to give that money to stockholders and let them choose if and where to give it away. There is a certain logic to that.

Now if a company is privately held, that's different.

Having said that, it might be that Arlington County would allow individuals to donate money specifically to CaBi. If not, they should. And then anyone could contribute to the public good.

Based on this www.capitalbikeshare.com/assets/pdf/cabi_station_sponsorship_flyer.pdf I don't see why an individual (or individuals pooling their money) wouldn't be allowed to sponsor a station if they ponied up the cash.

(and per that flyer, Arlington seems to allow more logorificness than DC does right now)

There's also a more direct way that people can "donate" to CaBi. They could intentionally go over 30 minutes on a ride more frequently, to rack up per-ride fees. I've thought about doing this all the time... once I win the lottery.

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