The borough of Poole Council is procuring a dockless bike hire scheme covering both Bournemouth and Poole.
The operator will provide the scheme at no initial or ongoing cost to the councils. The councils hope the scheme will provide them with an income stream that will be ringfenced for cycle infrastructure, parking and training.
The scheme should launch this summer., with the contract running for an initial year and options for two further one-year extensions. The operator must be accredited with Bikeplus.
LTT asked Poole council why it was necessary to tender for a scheme, given that other towns and cities have not used tenders to introduce dockless bike hire schemes. A spokeswoman said: “Bournemouth and Poole have been approached by a number of bike share providers with a view to operating in the area. It was therefore thought essential to formally tender the opportunity to provide a fair and equitable process for all suppliers and enable a robust evaluation procedure to be undertaken. This will ensure the best solution is selected from the outset.
“The successful tenderer will benefit from up to three years of close partnership working with the councils to ensure the scheme is a mutual success. This will include support with liaising with key stakeholders (such as the university, key employers and transport providers) and joint marketing of the scheme to customers.”
The spokeswoman said the Poole/Bournemouth conurbation’s compact geography and favourable weather conditions made the area ideal for cycling. The bikes will be distributed across the conurbation and the council will work with the operator to provide geo-fenced preferred parking locations in the busiest areas, such as Bournemouth’s rail and coach stations that sit on the periphery of the town centre.
The tender predicts a turnover of £1.65m over a period of three years, equating to annual hire income of £550,000. “Actual annual turnover is forecast to be less than this in year one and more in year three,” said the spokeswoman.
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