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."
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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."