City Holds Pre-Proposal Meeting for Indego 2.0

by | August 20, 2019 | Bike Share, Biking in Philly, Featured | 1 comment

Bicycle Coalition

On August 14th, the City of Philadelphia held a pre-proposal meeting for companies that are interested in submitting a proposal to win a ten-year concession agreement to operate Indego, the City’s public use bike share system. Here’s what we learned.

Indego was launched in 2015 by the City using a combination of its own capital dollars, grant funds and a sponsorship from Independence Blue Cross, which runs until 2022. Bicycle Transit Systems is the current operator of Indego and holds that agreement until the end of 2020.

The Indego system has 133 stations covering 23 square miles with 12 new stations expected in next month. Indego owns 1446 conventional bikes and has 250 e-bikes (out of 400 ordered) on the street. The system has 6000 pass holders, of which 10% are low income individuals and 50% are women. Currently, the system runs a small annual deficit.

The City of Philadelphia is one of the founding members of the Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP), which also includes the Bicycle Coalition, as well as PeopleForBikes and NACTO.

Through BBSP, the City has focused on understanding the barriers to the use of bike share in low income and communities of color and has worked to overcome them. This has included installing Indego stations in underserved neighborhoods, creating cash payment and discount pass options for the program, as well as marketing, education and outreach programs aimed at reaching low income Philadelphians.

The City is looking for an operator to run Indego 2.0 for ten years starting in 2021. It developed a new business plan to expand service and continue to invest in equity initiatives.

At least 12 companies attended Wednesday’s meeting in person or by phone, including the current operator. They have until September 20th to respond to the City’s Request For Proposal. The City expects that negotiations over the concession agreement will go through early 2020 and that the Council process to approve the agreement will occur in late spring 2020. Anticipated commencement of the new agreement will be January 2021.

This RFP for Indego 2.0 is separate from the dockless electric bike pilot that the City issued a regulation for this past June.


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1 Comment
  1. Ed Dougherty

    In the context of the City treasury, and in the push for the maximum transparency, I surely understand the need to re-bid, to fully open this up. But as a Passholder and a daily user, I hope there will be some provision in the assessment phase for tapping the current universe of users as to how they think the franchise is performing, how it’s being run. Count this as one lone vote, but I think the verdict is spectacularly well. I find the bikes in consistently good repair, inspite of the abuse, that some bikes are brilliantly tuned up, for what they are, and that the backoffice element is, to my lights, flawlessly run. Indeed, I’d say that the current operator – is it Indego, or BCycle? I can’t be sure – has some of the best and most responsive customer service I’ve seen anywhere. Like take notice Verizon! No doubt more analytical minds than mine will point out shortfalls I’m not aware of or outreach or expansions they’ve failed to realize, and I’ll certainly listen. But from the vantage point of an everyday user, and all over town, I’d be challenged to point out a weakness in how the system is currently run and surely hope such a view can be baked in to the assessment.


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