repost­ed from: Riv­er City News
by: Michael Monks
March 12, 2015

Cincy Red Bike

Belle­vue has appro­pri­ate­ly turned to the head of Mack­ey Advi­sors, the Fair­field Avenue-based finan­cial man­age­ment firm, to lead its fundrais­ing efforts to land Red Bike sta­tions in the city.

Red Bike is the bike-shar­ing non-prof­it that is spread­ing through­out Cincin­nati and will soon creep into North­ern Ken­tucky. Sta­tions, where bikes are racked and picked up for rent­ed use, cost about $50,000 each. Ear­li­er this week, New­port announced that it had enough funds for two and near­ly three, but offi­cials there want­ed to work toward rais­ing the mon­ey to place four sta­tions in the city.

On Wednes­day, Mack­ey McNeill, head of the firm who vol­un­teered to lead the fundrais­ing effort in the city, told the Belle­vue City Coun­cil that there was just over $23,000 for the Red Bike efforts. South­bank Part­ners com­mit­ted $20,000 each to Belle­vue, New­port, and Cov­ing­ton for the effort to bring sta­tions to town and each city is anx­ious to do so before Major League Base­bal­l’s All-Star game arrives in the Queen City in July.

Bring­ing vis­i­tors from Ohio to the Ken­tucky side of the riv­er is one of many oppor­tu­ni­ties offered by the bike-shar­ing pro­gram. “We love our most­ly Ohio clients to come over and enjoy Ken­tucky,” McNeill said. With events like the All-Star game bring­ing thou­sands of vis­i­tors to Cincin­nati, the oppor­tu­ni­ty for the North­ern Ken­tucky Riv­er Cities to cap­i­tal­ize on that could ben­e­fit from hav­ing the acces­si­bil­i­ty of the bikes.

McNeill made the case, based on a recent­ly con­duct­ed study by the Cincin­nati Cham­ber of Com­merce, that the region is lack­ing in three areas desired by young pro­fes­sion­als: diver­si­ty, sus­tain­abil­i­ty, and tran­sit. She said that Red Bike address­es the issues of sus­tain­abil­i­ty and tran­sit. “As an employ­er, I’m very con­cerned about the work­force of the future and that’s why I sup­port Red Bike,” McNeill said. Red Bike is also dif­fer­ent, she said, in that each side of the riv­er typ­i­cal­ly has its own sys­tem in which ser­vices are offered or pro­vid­ed but with Red Bike, it will be one sys­tem shared across both states. “This sys­tem is set up to be inclu­sive on both sides of the riv­er and I think that’s sig­nif­i­cant and I think it’s impor­tant that Belle­vue be there because if we’re not, Cov­ing­ton and New­port are mak­ing a state­ment of where they’re going to be in the future and we’re not.”

Belle­vue is aggres­sive­ly prepar­ing for the All-Star game, hav­ing already adopt­ed poli­cies that will allow for short-term rental leas­es through sites like airbnb.com and for the arrival of food trucks into the city. Red Bike would be anoth­er tool for vis­i­tors and one that the city will con­sid­er pro­vid­ing $20,000 for. The city is cur­rent­ly con­struct­ing its bud­get for the next fis­cal year that begins on July 1, but City Admin­is­tra­tor Kei­th Spoelk­er said that if funds are there cur­rent­ly and if coun­cil approves the expen­di­ture, a bud­get adjust­ment could be made from this year’s bud­get allow­ing at least one sta­tion to be placed in the city.

Red Bike has tar­get­ed two loca­tions in Belle­vue: at the Port of Belle­vue and at the cor­ner of Ward and Fair­field Avenues.

SEE ALSO: Map of where Red Bike sta­tions could go in North­ern Ken­tucky

May­or Ed Riehl said that he would be sup­port­ive of the city’s expen­di­ture for the Red Bike effort, “if we can find it”. “Hope­ful­ly we have enough ener­gy in the fundrais­ing effort so that we don’t have to,” he said.

McNeill said that she typ­i­cal­ly declines offers to raise funds. “So, if I’m here to raise mon­ey for Red Bike, that’s pret­ty unusu­al,” she said. Busi­ness­es in the city have offered up some mod­est dona­tions to help fund the sta­tions to help Belle­vue get to the halfway point of land­ing its first sta­tion. McNeill out­lined a tiered dona­tion lev­el where donors who offer up $100 will receive a Red Bike sup­port­er stick­er for their win­dow, $2,500 lands a donor at VIP lev­el, and $10,000 could put a donor’s name on the sta­tion.

Belle­vue Red Bike enthu­si­asts will also launch a crowd­sourc­ing effort online, McNeill said. You can also expect to see vol­un­teers on First Fri­day on Fair­field Avenue with red buck­ets col­lect­ing cash for the sta­tions.

To read the full arti­cle on Riv­er City News please click here.