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Receive, consider and act upon a Memorandum of Understanding with Mobike for a Bike Share program (C-2017- 0556);
There is no fiscal cost to the Township related to this Memorandum of Understanding;
The Woodlands Township has reviewed bike share programs several times in the past six years. In October of 2017 the Township and The Woodlands Land Development Company (TWLDC) entered in to an agreement with BCycle for a bike share pilot program in the Town Center that was designed to test a new protoype bicycle and evaluate the market / need for such a program in The Woodlands.
For reasons not explained to the Township or TWLDC, BCycle did not move forward with the agreement.
Subsequently, Township staff reviewed other bike share programs. Mobike has been found to be the largest smart bike share operator in the world with over 5 million bikes in service in 180 cities. However, Mobike is relatively new in the United States having recently established the first U.S. program in Washington D.C. Mobike reports they will begin a program with the City of Houston in mid-December.
The bikes are powered by unique high-tech features including smart-lock technology, non-puncture airless tires, bike status sensors and built-in GPS locations. Users simply download the Mobike app, find a nearby Mobike and scan the QR code to unlock and ride. Mobike does not use docking stations. Mobike users park bikes at any public bike rack or in preferred designated parking areas. Unlike many American bike share programs, Mobike has no need for public funding. Mobike’s price structure is very competitive. Standard pricing is $1.00 per 30 minutes. (Attachment A).
TWLDC has advised the Township that if the Township approves of/selects a bike share vendor, they will agree to support the program in the Town Center. The Woodlands Convention and Visitor's Bureau received a presentation on Mobike from Township staff on November 15, 2017, and voted in support of the program contingent upon Township approval.
A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which establishes the program in The Woodlands as been prepared (Attachment B). The MOU establishes the use area which is restricted to the Town Center, provides that any preferred parking locations will be designated by the Township, and establishes the responsibilities of Mobike and the Township. The program can be expanded by mutual consent and can be canceled for any reason after six-months of the effective date. Mobike is very interested and willing to establish a program in The Woodlands and indicates the program can be implemented within a few weeks.
Approve the draft Memorandum of Understanding with Mobike, Inc. and authorize the President/General Manager to negotiate and execute the final MOU provided there are no substantial changes from the draft version and as approved to form by the Township Attorney.
Attachment A - Mobike Presentation
Attachment B - Draft MOU Mobike
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