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Use Area rating money to keep SoBi operating

City Council is being asked to consider a proposal from Ward 3 Councillor Narinder Nann to keep the SoBi bike sharing system alive by investing $400,000 from the area rating funds of Wards One, Two, and Three. The motion would direct city staff to find a new operator with the authority to sole-source the contract if necessary. The proposal dovetails with a staff report that suggested Hamilton Bike Share—the original operators of the system before Uber took over, might operate the system on an interim basis. Clr. Nann’s motion proposes:

Ward Three Councillor Narinder Nann

That Council approve the single source procurement, pursuant to Procurement Policy #11 – Non-competitive Procurements, for the interim operation of the SoBi Bike Share program effective June 1, 2020 and that the General Manager, Planning and Economic Development Department be authorized to negotiate, enter into and execute an Agreement and any ancillary documents required to give effect thereto with Hamilton Bike Share Inc., each in a form satisfactory to the City Solicitor;

(ii) That the City’s contribution to the interim operation of the SoBi Bike Share program be limited to providing the existing and near term committed bikes and stations, at no cost to the operator, as well as a financial contribution up to a maximum of $400,000;

(iii) Notwithstanding the Area Rating Special Capital Re-Investment Reserves Policy, that Council permit an exception to this policy and that funding to maintain the operation of the SoBi Bike Share infrastructure be provided as follows: $150,000 from Ward 1 Special Capital Re-Investment Reserve

Account (108051), $100,000 from Ward 2 Special Capital Re-Investment Reserve Account (108052), and $150,000 from Ward 3 Special Capital ReInvestment Reserve.

(iv)That the City Solicitor be authorized and directed to take all necessary actions to pursue recovery of the full amount of the City of Hamilton’s costs, expenses and damages arising from Uber’s unilateral decision to cease bike share operations as of June 1, 2020.

(b) That staff be directed to initiate a competitive procurement process with a goal of identifying a preferred long-term operator for the SoBi Bike Share program and report back to Council with the results of the procurement.

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