What if this version of the Portland bike share program fails?

City could lose federal funding if the program operator bails after three years.

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Portland’s latest attempt at launching a bike share program involves signing operator Motivate Co. to a three-year deal.

But, the city has received a federal grant that stipulates it must run a program for five years. So if Motivate bails, Portland could see funding withheld.

City transportation officials say a complete collapse is unlikely, and that of more than 60 operating U.S. bike share programs, only one in San Antonio, Texas, has had to seek a bailout from a city government.

“We expect bike share to be a success,” said Margi Bradway, who manages the transportation bureau’s active transportation division. “And at the end of those three years, we can negotiate better terms for the city.”

The program is expected to cost $200 per bike per month to run, or about $1.4 million per year, with 35 percent of the cost covered by sponsorships. (If revenue from users exceeds those operational costs, the profits would be split, with 60 percent going to Motivate and the remaining 40 percent to the city.)

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

Portland has been unable to secure a sponsor for the program.

Do you think this version of the idea will work? Let us know in the comments.

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