If you have either watched the local TV news or browsed the local newspaper, you probably heard about all of El Paso’s progressive transportation issues falling apart because of a lack of funding. Let’s focus on the bike share program.
The city needed $1.6 million from TXDot to help make the project a reality…TXdot said no. Now El Paso is left with partial funding…some that has a use it or lose it at the end of this year.
I haven’t done heavy research but it appears the only grant money El Paso went after were the Rider8 funds from the TCEQ (Texas Commission Environmental Quality) The city was also kicking in $100k while UTEP would push over $24k.
The first city in Texas to implement a successful bike share program was San Antonio back in 2011. Instead of having a mobility authority oversee the program like El Paso wants, San Antonio’s B-Cycle is overseen by a non-profit, headed up by the owners of Bike World.
Here is a breakdown of how San Antonio funded its B-Cycle
I’m not sure if El Paso looked at Federal Grants, but maybe there are some out there they could go after…also, I don’t think the city needs 200 bikes…they should start off smaller, say around 150, maybe less….just don’t see it being used in that high a volume to start off. Crawl…walk…run.
I know the city wants this to happen but I’m not sure how motivated they are to get over the current hurdle. Maybe we need to put this in the hands of a 501c3 filled with passionate cycling enthusiasts and some awesome grant writers.
Time will tell whether El Paso can make this a reality.
My name is David and I’m living El Paso.