Alta Bicycle Share—the troubled company that operates bike-share systems in New York,Washington, D.C., Chicago, and several other major cities — is now “Motivate.”  Jay Walder was brought in to head up the company.  Here’s an excerpt – Ohrn’s favourite bit – from an interview in CityLab:

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Bike-Share Could Be ‘A Much More Integrated Platform,’ Says Bike-Share CEO

 

“Since you’ve had this job, when you go to cocktail parties and so forth, what do people complain to you about?

I don’t [go to cocktail parties anymore], I wish I could tell you! [laughs]

Actually, the comment that I get most is how much they love bike-share. There’s an underlying sense of, this is something I really, really like, and really, really want to see succeed.

What people are telling me is that this is different than other parts of the transportation network. The way they see bike-share as being flexible, as being individual, as being immediate, as being place-to-place rather than station-to-station—that fits in with the way they think about their life right now.

Inevitably, you also get some of the comments, depending on where you are, about some of the things that have been frustrating. These are things we know we need to address, and we’re working really hard to address them right now. But the interesting contrast is that, compared to some other places that I’ve worked, the conversation doesn’t start with the problem. Almost always, it starts with a comment about how much they love bike-share.”

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Full interview here in CityLab.  What jumped out for me:

What about the integration into the larger transportation system? Do you foresee a time when bike systems are not only integrated with each other, but also with municipal transportation systems?

I certainly do, and I think the ability to do this is frankly right around the corner. If you look at the RFP that’s out for the Los Angeles network right now, they are calling for integration with transit, as well as some of our other clients are looking at those questions.

One of my views about that, for example, is that the tool and the ability to do that probably should be focused most on the phone. I think that’s the way we should be thinking about this as opposed to the question of whether you can integrate a card. I think the smart phone could well be the platform and the way of bringing all these things together in ways that are truly creative.