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Background

The Iowa Department of Transportation awarded a $135,300 grant through the Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program in January 2015 to cover 76 percent of the cost for phase one of a University of Iowa-Iowa Citybike share program.

The phase one proposal called for30 bikes at three different east-side bike stations— each with 15 docks — at the entrance to the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall, near the UI’s Seamans Center and student residence halls in downtown Iowa City. A bike share allows customers to rent and return bikes from different stations across a community.

The application grant targeted June 30, 2015, to complete construction.

What’s happened since

The bike share has yet to materialize.

By the time Iowa DOT awarded the grant, the project timeline was pushed back to fall 2015.

In the summer of 2015, Iowa City Council passed a resolution for the city to accept the grant money rather than the UI to avoid a conflict of interest in having one state agency giving money to another. Chris O’Brien, Iowa City parking and transportation director, and Liz Christiansen, UI sustainability director, were co-listed as project sponsors on the application.

Also that summer, UI got an 11th-hour surprise. TheCoca-Cola Foundation awarded UI a $50,000 grant for the bike share, which brought the total budget for phase one up from $177,000 to $227,000. The project also has commitments of $20,000 from UI Parking and Transportation, $13,700 from Iowa City, and $4,000 each from UI Staff Council and UI Student Government.

Before the Iowa DOT grant money became available in October 2015, bike share plans were pushed back again to spring 2016.

Until just recently the project has been at a standstill, though.

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