Miami Beach's DecoBike Already Has Financial Concerns

Categories: News
Thumbnail image for DecoBikeRow.jpg
While Miami Beach's new DecoBike bicycle sharing program seems to be a hit with riders, the private company that runs the program says it's already facing financial concerns. DecoBike says its failed to raise enough money in advertising and now wants to place mini-billboards on its bike stands. That's a proposal that Beach officials don't seem to want to take for a spin.

According to The Miami Herald, 180,000 rides have already been taken on DecoBikes during its first four months. Though, the company has failed to meet even 20 percent of its anticipated advertising revenue.

The company originally wanted to install advertising on 65 bike racks around the city, but City Hall nixed the idea and limited advertising only to bike baskets. DecoBike says the basket ads aren't a hit with companies, and they now want to install 7-foot-by-2-foot ads on bike racks.

"They're very huge; it's not acceptable," Mayor Matti Herrera Bower tells The Herald. "When they came to us in the very beginning they said they could do it without advertising. They should have thought of a better business plan and they should have researched more options."

Though, the city will ask residents for input. Meanwhile, the advertising issues alone won't likely doom the program.

"Is DecoBike's financially failing? No, but we need to know that we can prosper to put out the stations and bikes that we need," Colby Reese, chief marketing operator of DecoBike, told the paper. "We're not in this to lose money, and we don't want to break even, but right now breaking even is a great thing."

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10 comments
Tibetan
Tibetan

Every time I go through this NO MAN'S LAND, I encounter problems. The intersection at Pine Tree Rd (westbound on Alton Rd) is usually blocked by cars looking the other way. Then La Gorce is another problem where the cars turning left from behind expect you to stop while they go.

I did Collins the other day with kids and the cars coming out of driveways just ignore you. ALL OF THIS IS 'NO GO ZONE.'

B
B

There is no way to get on board with this as a resident. I live where there are 2 stations within a few blocks of each other and one hour is impossible to get back and forth or to check the bike in and out every hour it's inconvenient. I don't think advertising will help at all, its a matter of finding a better way for residents to use. They can advertise all they want but I agree if they keep using barely clad models they are getting no where.

Adam Berke
Adam Berke

When your main concern is throwing parties in South Beach and spending time putting wannabe models in your mini sized publication it is only a matter of time. Marketing bikini clad bimbos on bikes in high heals isn't exactly hitting your target market. Sorry decobike nothing sexy about bikeshare. Stop thinking with your penis and start finding business consultants.

No more ads
No more ads

This is just a scam. Miami Beach does not need more visual pollution.

Putting billboards and ads on bikes and bike stations is just disgusting.

If Deco Bikes business plan is that bad then they can sell out.

The City should say NO! to visual pollution.

DecoBike Team
DecoBike Team

There are a few things that are somewhat out of context and/or not mentioned in the written article in the Miami Herald regarding the Miami Beach bicycle sharing program’s status that we would like to clarify:The DecoBike Miami Beach program is not struggling, in fact it is booming in a big way.  We have the only bike sharing program in the US with positive cash flow immediately upon opening, even in our first month (and without any public funding or tax payer dollars).  The Miami Beach program is the most comprehensive in the country with the best bike-to resident ratio and the most stations per square mile so that it can really be used as reliable daily transportation, not just an occasional amenity.  The program and the city were recently awarded the prestigious US Conference of Mayors Civil Livability Award based on the success of the program and the positive impact it has on those that live in and visit the community. With nearly 200,000 rides complete in its first few months with just a fraction of the bikes and stations deployed, the success is nothing short of amazing and we have achieved our goals of improving mobility for an entire city.What we are trying to do now is improve the overall long-term capabilities of the program to generate sponsorship and advertising revenues, of which the city receives a major portion of, to help offset costs. Doing so will provide longevity for the program and its expansion as well as to keep rider fees very low and affordable like other forms of public transportation.  Further, it will also generate additional funds for the city which can help improve much needed bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as their budget’s health overall.What we requested of the city (to permit sponsors/ads on our stations) is very much in line with other bike sharing programs abroad and to simply to treat our stations with the same policies on sponsorships and advertising as the existing bus shelters around the city as both are deemed functions of public transportation.  There are a variety of issues that are not visible to the public, including numerous months of city permit delays specific to the Miami Beach program and out of DecoBike’s control, which have added hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs that would not otherwise exist despite such delays. For those types of issues, the program can be made whole again by city allowing us to use kiosk-based sponsors.  We are confident that we will develop an amicable solution with the city that makes works for all parties.  To be very clear we are not requesting any money from the city or its taxpayers, but rather permission to utilize space on an asset that we already own. The Miami Beach DecoBike program is well-funded and is here to stay, but the bike sharing concept is still very new to potential sponsors in the USA and we expect that to change as other programs are deployed around the country and brands start to put their money behind bike sharing.Regards,The DECOBIKE Team

WiseTibetanMonkey
WiseTibetanMonkey

Nothing wrong with being sexy if that is what sells. Let the beauties roam among the beasts --aggressive drivers.

WiseTibetanMonkey
WiseTibetanMonkey

Good thing if you apply it to buses as well as to the local radio stations that fill the air with noise pollution. Advertising though is the basis of capitalism.

More ads please
More ads please

Please abstain from sharing your idiotic, backwards and right out fucking stupid opinion. Go move to a cave where no one is gonna sell you anything.

WiseTibetanMonkey
WiseTibetanMonkey

The problem with Deco Bike is that the Team never took into account that it takes SAFE BIKE FACILITIES to ride a bike. That was a "slight oversight," to be put it mildly.

In the meantime, I have declared the area from 47th ST to Bal Harbour to be NO MAN'S LAND. I've seen a few bikes struggling on sidewalks, but nothing that will attract the tourists like in Key West.

Maybe the advertisers are in WAIT AND SEE mode.

WiseTibetanMonkey
WiseTibetanMonkey

That's the Geico commercial. I would really like to hide from their commercials.

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