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City awards $1M in federal funds for bike-rental service

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The Indianapolis Board of Public Works awarded $1 million in federal funds to B-Cycle LLC, a Wisconsin company that will bring its bike-rental service to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

The public works board on Wednesday afternoon awarded the contract, which allows B-Cycle to spend up to $1.5 million to install its electronic stations and purchase bikes. Any spending beyond the federal funds will be covered by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., a private not-for-profit entity that's supposed to raise money for maintaining the eight-mile path.

The bike-rental program will be the responsibilty of ICT Inc., which will collaborate with Bollore Group, a French company that plans to invest $35 million in a car-sharing service in Indianapolis.

A request for proposals issued by ICT and the city in December 2011 anticipated 24 bike-sharing stations with 300 bikes. ICT will hold two public meetings to take input on exact locations. The meetings will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on June 27 and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on July 10. Both meetings will be at The Platform, 202 E. Market St. Comments will also be collected at www.indyculturaltrail.org, beginning on June 27.

B-Cycle allows users to buy short-term and long-term memberships online or 24-hour passes at its stations. The stations operate with electronic locks, and the bikes can be released with a swipe of a pass card or through the adjoining payment kiosk.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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