Elected officials need a calculator
December 7, 2011
When and where does it end? $650,000 to start up a public bike-share program with just 100 pay-to-use bikes? Instead of iPads for local government officials, how about calculators? That’s a start-up cost of $6,500 per bike, and these particular bikes are only for short, point-to-point trips!
The craziest thing is that the program will need at least 400 locals (who presumably already have their own bikes) to use the rental bikes at least $75 worth each year and another 150 “commuters” to do the same. Really? Do you actually think locals are going to pay to use these things?
Plus, 5,000 Aspen visitors will additionally need to participate every year to generate the $261,000 estimated annual cost. Furthermore, for $261,000 annually, that’s more than $2,600 per bike. I get my bike tuned every year for $50. There’s something very wrong with this picture.
For We-Cycle program founders Mirte Mallory and Philip Jeffreys to tell our local government officials that the program is “set up for success” is simply ludicrous. If it’s such a slam dunk for success, then why don’t they get a loan and do the program themselves instead of rattling the tin cup at the local taxpayers? Thank goodness for County Commissioner Rob Ittner, who wisely asked, “What is their exit strategy?” He obviously already has a calculator. And a clue.
It’s really shameful (yet not surprising) that the others on both government bodies are so clueless to think that yet another fiscally irresponsible government-subsidized program is good for Aspen. I particularly enjoyed Rachel Richards’ comment, “I think it’s going to be a good fit for the community.”
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Well, it certainly fits right in with the rest of the subsidized portfolio.