Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G
Steely linked to does in fact provide a timetable: Three hundred stations in 2012 and an additional 200 over the next two years for a total of 500 by 2015.
That article was written before Chicago had any
funding. It doesn't tell us anything except what they hope for. When it was published, nobody knew how much money would be available, or when.
Now we know they have $22 million, spread over three years. That's $18m in CMAQ plus $4m in TIGER.
Each bikesharing station costs between $40,000 and $50,000 to manufacture and install (including the bikes), so actually $22 million is just about right for 500 stations. But to get 300 this year it means that $13-14 million of the money has to be available now. If we assume the $4 million from TIGER is available right away, that means they need at least $9 million from CMAQ in the first year. In other words, it means their 3-year CMAQ allocation has to be front-loaded to provide half the money in the first year. That's certainly possible. It's all I'm trying to figure out. But in any event, nobody knew any of that in September.
I'm not trying to be a spoilsport, by the way. I really hope Chicago does launch with 300. The more you have, the better it works. It's just that I happen to know a lot about how bikesharing funding works, and 300 by summer seems optimistic. Optimistic, but possible. Before I had any details about the CMAQ money, it sounded absurd.