The three companies who are still in the running to provide the service are global media giant Clear Channel, the Portland Bike Company (I detailed their plans back in November), and Library Bikes, a former non-profit based in Arcata, California.
According to LibraryBikes.org’s director Bill Burton, they have purchased a container of the exact bikes that were used by Parisian company Roue Libre, an outfit that proceded, and offered rental bikes on a smaller scale than the massive Velib program now in use.
According to Burton’s press release, his company, “has brought these bicycles to Portland to present to the City of Portland review committee for inclusion in the Public Bicycle Rental Program.” Burton also writes that LibraryBikes.org is, “excited to have a fleet of the actual bicycles that have helped transform Paris into a bike using city, and we are happy to bring these bicycles to Portland.”
Burton has just announced that he’ll hold a press conference in downtown Portland at 11:00 am this morning near the bike racks in front of City Hall at 1120 SW 5th Ave.
LibraryBikes.org’s proposal describes a system they refer to as “Call a Bike” and it will include 500 short-term rental bikes that will be available 24 hours a day. Each bicycle will have a phone number to call to get the release code for the individual bike and the customer will use a credit card to secure the rental and the first half-hour would be free.
You can download their complete, 9-page proposal here (PDF).