February 17, 2020
The Students’ Association (SA) has been working for more than two years to bring a bike share program to the South Dakota State University campus.
SDSU administration and staff along with City of Brookings officials have joined the project as partners in order to expand the scope of a potential bike share program to include the Brookings community as well as the campus, but the project has been repeatedly delayed because of legal negotiations, technological limitations, lack of interest from bike share providers, and other external factors.
During the 2017-2018 Senate term, SA senators gathered information from various bike share providers and invited representatives from several companies to campus to meet with students. Building on that work throughout the 2018-19 term, SA narrowed potential partners to Chicago-based VeoRide.
A contract was drawn up and legal negotiations took substantial time. Arrival dates of the bikes to Brookings, originally projected for fall 2018, were repeatedly set and pushed back due to extreme winter weather and ongoing legal negotiations. The company later backed out of the deal after a sales representative that had been working with SA senators left the company and it was discovered that part of the cellular/GPS technology that makes VeoRide’s bike locking mechanism work was no longer available in the Brookings area.
From there, the search for a bike share provider was back at square one. With the university and the City of Brookings on board as partners, a joint committee was formed with membership from SA senators, university administration and staff, and Brookings officials. The committee worked throughout summer and fall 2019 to create a request for proposals (RFP) that was finalized and opened for submissions during December 2019 and January 2020.
No proposals were received during the submission window. One proposal was received after the submission deadline from Koloni, a sharing technology company based in Iowa, but the proposal was dismissed due to the high cost of the proposed program.
Since the RFP process was completed unsuccessfully, SDSU and the City of Brookings are now able to move forward and seek out companies to negotiate deals on more flexible terms. The bike share committee will continue working throughout spring 2020 to determine next steps and pursue other options.
The Students’ Association is comprised of all General Activity Fee-paying students at SDSU. The Students’ Association Senate is the official student government organization at SDSU, consisting of 28 senators representing each of the academic colleges and the student body president and vice president. The Students’ Association Senate meets weekly during the academic year on Mondays at 7:00PM in the Lewis & Clark Room of the Student Union. Further information is available at sa.sdstate.edu. Questions or media inquiries should be directed to SDSU.SACommunications@sdstate.edu.
South Dakota State University Students’ Association
University Student Union 128, Box 2815
Brookings, SD 57007