Barcelona Bikes in Boise: Can Boise be Successful Where Other U.S. Cities Have Failed?

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Samia Islam


The problem of Boise’s transportation is no secret to anyone who tries to drive in the city during rush hour. Various solutions have been pondered and several improvements have been attempted. However, Boise has certain social and spatial characteristics that would make it ideal for one solution that seems to have gone unnoticed thus far. The popular areas of Boise are spatially condensed, which means shorter distances to get form Point A to Point B. The crime rates within the city are low, especially compared to other urban areas. Combining these distinguishing features with other characteristics, Boise has the opportunity to be successful with a community bike-sharing program. Our research focuses on the idea of Boise initiating a community bike-sharing program. We intend to show that Boise has the right mix of social and spatial characteristics for successful implementation of such a program. We will examine the reasons why other bike sharing programs throughout the country have failed and determine how to modify existing models from Asian and European countries appropriately to fit Boise’s needs. The project will provide a cost analysis, which will include the cost of implementation and the price of preventative maintenance. The project will consist of a survey on how current community members would feel about installing this program. Finally, this project will examine other related factors to ensure a successful operation, including the placement of bike kiosks, integrating the bikes with the existing public transit system run by Valley Regional transit, etc. The results and final analysis will hopefully present a non-traditional idea that can make Boise a unique city in America.

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