Bike share systems are rapidly spreading throughout the world. This panel will address the what, why, and how of both docked and dockless bike share; delve into the current and anticipated issues; and provide a diversity of opinion about what our involvement might look like.
This session will be facilitated by a neutral third party and include representatives from major docked and dockless bike share operators. It will be an opportunity for discussion about how bike sharing technology works; how operators manage deployment, rebalancing, and maintenance of the bike; and how operators are working with cities to ensure the success of bike share programs. This will allow members of the public and government to evaluate bike sharing as an opportunity for their regions.
JD Simpson brings over 30 years of experience in executive level management in small to medium size businesses with a proven ability to create and build new concepts. She is accomplished in managing high growth environments through development of sustainable process controls and infrastructure design and maintenance in addition to a proven sales and marketing track record. JD was involved in the initial launch of San Antonio B-cycle bike share program in March, 2011 with 14 stations. She was instrumental in the expansion of the system to 52 stations by August 2013. JD then left San Antonio for the opportunity to be an integral part of the executive team in developing and launching the Austin bike share program. Austin B-cycle launched in Dec 2013 with 11 stations and quickly grew to 40 stations by March 2014. Her primary responsibilities were the day to day operations of this innovative program and continued to expand to 50 stations by August 2015. Austin B-cycle offered a unique opportunity for operations due to the large and frequent events such as SXSW (South-by-Southwest) every March and ACL (Austin City Limits) every October in addition to the monthly on-going festivals. In September 2015, JD returned to San Antonio to take over the position of Executive Director for the then 5+ year San Antonio B-cycle program offering another unique opportunity to evaluate an older program and tackle the challenges of sustaining and growing that system. Within 2 years, she has improved operational processes, customer service response times, community engagement and the financial position of the organization and secured a first ever Title Sponsor for San Antonio.
Elliott McFadden has been the Executive Director of Austin B-cycle, the popular bike share system, since it launched in downtown Austin in December 2013, growing the system from 11 stations with 100 bikes to 63 stations and 510 bikes. He is a bike share industry leader, serving on the board of the North American Bike Share Association and as an inaugural member of BCycle’s Operator Advisory Group. Elliott is a 26 year resident of Austin and social entrepreneur who has working in both business startup and non-profit ventures to make Austin a better place to live. He was the founder of Austin CarShare, the first carshare service in Texas and a precursor to Car2Go and Zipcar, and managed the successful campaigns to create the Travis County Hospital District in 2004 and pass $65 million in bond funding for affordable housing in 2013. Under Elliott’s leadership, Austin B-cycle doubled first year projected rider usage and sales, won the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association’s “Urban Light” Award, and set a national bike share system record for most checkouts per bike/day during the 2014 SXSW Festival.
Will Rub has lived and worked in Houston since 1972 and is the son of parents that are both native Houstonians. He is a graduate of Rice University with a degree in Managerial Studies. Since graduating, Rub has worked in a broad spectrum of industries including Oil & Gas and Information Technology. Beginning in 1998 Will committed his career to the non-profit industry. Will has worked for the National MS Society, American Stroke Association, was the Executive Director of the IFMA Foundation for six years and most recently worked as the Executive Director of Houston Bike Share from 2012 through 2016. He is now the Operations Manager for Mobike for the Greater Houston area. “I’m very proud to have been a big part of this innovative transportation option in Houston – there is so much potential.”
Carter Stern is a native Houstonian and currently works for the largest dockless bike share provider in the world, ofo, as head of external affairs for the central US. In his role, Stern is responsible for engaging a broad and diverse group of stakeholders in any city that ofo currently operates in, or hopes to enter. This early and constant dialogue ensures that ofo’s deployment addresses the unique needs and challenges of each city. Prior to joining ofo, Stern was the executive director of Houston Bike Share, the nonprofit entity responsible for implementation and management of the Houston BCycle bike sharing program. Prior to running Houston Bike Share, Carter was a trial attorney in private practice for 5 years. Carter attended undergrad at Bates College and law school at the University of Houston. He has two young boys, Fitzgerald and Nathaniel, and wife Beth. Stern currently serves on the board of directors of LINK Houston and the Houston Parks Board. He is also a member of the steering committee for the Houston Complete Streets Coalition. Stern served as a member of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Traffic and Transportation Transition Team.