Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

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Jimmy Flannigan
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:44 am

Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Jimmy Flannigan » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:50 pm

On Item 31, which is a software license renewal for BSA, the posted item allows for an up-to-2 year contract term. I'm concerned about approving a 2-year agreement using public dollars (from the parking fund) when we haven't been able to really dig into this as a Mobility Committee.

I spoke with staff today and they agreed that as little as a 6mo term would be fine. Here is the email they sent me to that end:
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 171930.pdf

This would give Mobility Committee time to dig into the program more before we agree to multi-year terms.

However, since Item 32 is related to capital investments we will likely need to make regardless, I am comfortable letting that move forward as posted.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Ann Kitchen » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:43 pm

CM Flannigan

Thank you for your comments on this one and your interest in BCycle.

I do want to keep Item #31 on track as written for a 2 year contract term. But, I think we can also accommodate the need for further discussion at the August Mobility Committee and an understanding / discussion about the role BCycle plays with our transit system and with CapMetro into the future. I understand that staff has been working closely with CapMetro regarding the future of this service, including electrification of the service.

Item 31 is the contract with the BSA, which is responsible for daily maintenance of the bicycles. This service is particularly critical right now as a transportation resource - particularly as an avenue for social distancing that is not as available on the bus. People depend on this service.

I am concerned that extending this contract for only 6 months, in the midst of this jobs and public health crisis is not a good idea.

I understand concerns about use of public dollars when we haven't yet discussed in detail at Mobility Committee. But the annual amount is only about $168,000, which is a small amount for this vital service.

So I suggest that we move forward with this item and that we schedule our August meeting to discuss in detail. I talked with staff and they prefer the stability of the contract as written.

THANKS
Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Jimmy Flannigan
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:44 am

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Jimmy Flannigan » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:19 pm

Thank you CM Kitchen, although this is not so much about my interest in BCycle, but is a question of fiscal oversight and the use of public dollars on a system that had otherwise not needed such investment.

It is not clear to me how critical this infrastructure is since we haven't been given any data or presentation on it. In fact, the backup states that "Recent changes to the marketplace have negatively affected bicycle rental revenue for this program." I am not willing to agree to two more years without more information about what these changes are and what future investments are going to be required, which is why I'd like to see a shorter term so that we can make a better educated decision on the longer term investment.

As you'll note, I did share the comments staff made to me in my original post. They are comfortable with a 6mo contract and have been able to make appropriate changes. Alternatively, we can postpone the item to the next council meeting to give us more time to deliberate.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Ann Kitchen » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:24 pm

CM Flannigan

I think I understand your concern now - with the length of the contract.

I suggest a one year term, with an extension of one year. That avoids unnecessarily stopping this contract at a time where we will likely still be dealing with this crisis. Again, the amount is only $168,000 and will be needed regardless of how BCycle continues to evolve with CapMetro.

There is no need to postpone this item for these critical services, I suggest this as an appropriate balance.

Best Regards
Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Paige Ellis
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Paige Ellis » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:43 pm

CMs Flannigan and Kitchen,

I appreciate the dialogue you've begun surrounding these contracts. I am supportive of a shorter contract term for Item #31 than 2 years given that we are currently evaluating Project Connect. A 9 month contract is agreeable to me so that we may see what voters are supportive of in November, but I would also be supportive of 6 months. This will allow us to ensure our transportation planning is aligned.

Thank you!
-Paige Ellis
Paige Ellis
Council Member, District 8

Jimmy Flannigan
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:44 am

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Jimmy Flannigan » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:06 am

Thanks CM Ellis and Kitchen for the dialog... I'm really valuing the transparency of debate through the msg board!

I’d be okay with 9 months as a compromise, as CM Ellis suggested.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Ann Kitchen » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:54 pm

Thanks All

On item #31 - so 9 months made sense to me for the contract term. We will also ask staff to report back to Mobility Committee in August so we can have a conversation at that time.

Best Regards

Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Alison Alter
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Item 31 - Bike Share of Austin

Post by Alison Alter » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:05 pm

CM Kitchen and Flannigan, it is my understanding that the current suggestion would be 9 months for the contract term with a report back to Mobility committee in August. I wonder if additionally we could authorize a one year extension, but only with council approval. This would save an unnecessary procurement process should the need for a longer time horizon arise. I believe that would be prudent under current circumstances.
Council Member, District 10

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