View Full Version : New lights and baskets on CaBi bikes

11-10-2011, 01:24 PM
The new baskets have a front cover, but otherwise they look similar to current ones. The new lights will remain lit for 90 seconds after stopping. This can help when bikes are stopped at intersections. The new bikes have the updated lights. Apparently all of the old bikes will be upgraded over the winter and next spring.


11-10-2011, 01:37 PM
Looks like they're prepping for advertising on the front of the basket?

11-10-2011, 02:36 PM
Yeah, that makes sense. I don't mind if they include advertising there, as long as it isn't obnoxious. When I'm riding, I won't be able to see the ad!

That should bring in additional money for the system, which can help speed along more expansion and more rebalancing vans and crews.

12-11-2011, 03:10 PM
The panel on the front was introduced in 2010 for the London scheme's advertising and in 2011 rolled out to the Bixi systems in Canada. The older Bixis have the front light underneath the basket/rack, which unfortunately means that placing anything in the rack blocks much of the light. The new light array seems brighter, and is out of the way.

The Montreal Gazette (http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/04/13/whats-new-with-bixi-in-2011-it-has-a-bigger-footprint-more-free-time-and-advertising/) also says that the brake system was upgraded this year. I noticed that the grips feel a bit better textured, although maybe that's because they're new.

I haven't heard anything lately about getting legislation to allow advertising on the District-owned stations and bikes; until that happens, advertising won't happen on CaBi. When that happens, you can look forward to ads on the baskets, the rear wheel skirt guard, the docks' sides, on the map panels, and maybe on the receipts. The station bases also seem like a reasonable place.

Generally, outdoor advertising is a nice ancillary source of revenue but not going to underwrite the whole thing; posters on Bixi Montreal map panels (http://www.scribd.com/doc/16300760/Bixi-Advertising-Presentation) rented for $1375 per six-month season in 2010 -- less than comparable bus shelter posters since they're not lit at night. At that rate, our 12-month/100 station system would only raise $275K annually, enough to maintain 100-200 bikes (operating costs reference (http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=50814#How much would it cost?)). Title sponsorships in London and Minneapolis have sold for much more (millions of dollars) but then again there's only one to sell. It would be interesting to see what kind of ads or sponsors they end up with: WMATA's ads indicate that short-term political advocacy ads are quite valuable here, and CaBi has superb user demographics and downtown street visibility. Unlike bus shelters, almost by definition bikeshare stations are only in "happening" locations.

12-11-2011, 05:47 PM
That would still be $275K more revenue. Probably more because the system is expanding rapidly. By the end of next year, CaBi will probably include more than 200 stations, maybe more than 250 stations (about 45 more stations in Arlington, 30 or 40 more in DC-I don't remember the exact number, possibly 50 stations in lower Montgomery County, more stations in Rockville/Shady Grove, and a small number of stations in Alexandria).

I guess the type of advertising could be similar to what we see in the Metro stations and on the buses. The ads in the Pentagon and Pentagon City stations tend to feature military equipment and technology. In downtown DC, I've seen videogame ads along with the usual political/advocacy-type ads. Team in Training has also placed ads. They would be a good sponsor for CaBi. Many of the TnT participants sign up for triathlons, and the Nation's Triathlon in DC is one of the primary destination races for the national TnT organization.

CaBi could also allow station sponsors to "brand" the stations they paid for. Outside groups have already sponsored many stations, including many of the Arlington stations. The Crystal City Business Improvement District and the Potomac Yard transportation group FAST (co-)sponsored most of the Crystal City stations. Other groups have been offering to pay part or all of the cost of new stations. If sponsors are allowed to add signage on the bike stations, that might help to convince even more companies and groups to step up and sponsor a nearby station. CaBi should still have the most prominent markings, to indicate to users that it's a CaBi station, not a private company station. Other than that, CaBi and the gov't agencies could work out appropriate rules for the size and location of such signs and ads.