DecoBikes is back asking for ads on kiosks

DecoBikes on Belle Isle. Advertising would go on the lime green device.

DecoBikes – Miami Beach’s popular bicycle sharing program – has stretched from South Beach to North Beach, bringing praise to Miami Beach from urbanists to tourists.

But the DecoBikes vendor, which bid on a program it said would be sustained by user revenue, is back at City Hall for the second time since the program launched, asking for permission to sell advertising on the bike rental kiosks.

This time, it looks like approval of some kind of advertising scheme is likely. It’s being recommended by the city administration and the City Commission approved it on first reading last week.

DecoBikes started its service in March 2011. In July, it asked for permission to place ads 7 feet by 2 feet on the lime green devices where you check out bikes. The city first delayed a decision until September, and then said no.

In the meantime, DecoBikes expanded its service from South Beach to Middle and North Beach. In much of the Beach, there’s a DecoBike station every few blocks. It operates 83 stations with 850 bicycles, and plans to install 27 more stations during the next three months.

The company says it lost $387,561 during 2011. It projects a loss of $76,500 for this year, despite increasing ridership and revenue.

DecoBikes does sell ads on the bicycles themselves; currently the baskets on the bikes features an ad for the W hotel on South Beach.

In the administration’s analysis of the issue, City Manager Jorge Gonzalez noted that when the city planning staff held workshops on kiosk advertising last year, “a majority of people who spoke at those meetings were opposed to any kind of advertising on the Deco Bike kiosks….some individuals stated that the matter should be reconsidered after one year of operation and after the city audits the books to verify whether advertising revenue is necessary to make this program financially viable.”

The recommendation from the Miami Beach administration would allow advertising on 40 of DecoBikes kiosks, which it estimates would generate about $211,200 in advertising (after the city takes a cut of $57,600). The ads would be a minimum of 22 inches by 48 inches on each of the 40 kiosks.

A public hearing on the proposal will take place July 18.

What do you think?

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9 responses to “DecoBikes is back asking for ads on kiosks

  1. michaeldefilippi

    Whatever is required to keep Decobike going I will support. I dont see how these are any different (actually smaller) than the ADs you see all over the bus stops. Decobike needs to be fully supported. I love it.

  2. Barry Frankel

    I strongly support allowing advertising. Advertising will allow a wonderful program to continue.

  3. Heck NO! I don’t want to see more advertising vandalizing our street views. They submitted the proposal which did not need additional advertising to be sustainable, now they cannot survive without it? Typical smoke & mirror shenanigans. If they can’t adhere to their contract, good bye.

  4. Why not. it’s just signage.

  5. Pingback: DecoBikes wants ads on rental stations | Miami Local Me.me

  6. My immediate reaction is “No.” I’m bombarded by advertising wherever I go, and I’ve had enough! The City of Miami, across the bay, is looking like hell with the proliferation of hideous new billboards. On the other hand, the bike sharing program is environmentally friendly, and it’s a nice amenity for tourists. I recommend that the ban on fixed advertising signage be relaxed only if an independent audit of Deco Bike’s books confirms that the business is unsustainable without it. If advertising is allowed at the stations, keep it small, unlit and directed at users of the station (not assaulting passersby).

  7. Robert Illing

    They don’t need the money. The goal of all business is to maximize profits. They know that once they get their foot in the door, the can push the rest of their body through. Which is why they didn’t initially ask for permission for advertising. They knew they would ask for too much. But they will ask for this every year. Then once we give them one advertisement, they will still be “broke” and want two advertisements, then three etc. They don’t care if they make Miami Beach look like a even tackier version of Las Vegas with signs everywhere. They want profits at residents expenses. I’m surprised the city didn’t follow their lead and put advertisements on the police and fire.

  8. Paul Sasseville

    I’d immediately approve thier request to incorporate advertising on the kiosks. The Deco Bikes are a terrific service for the Beach, and to risk losing them over due to revenue challenges that could easily be met with advertising would be lousy.

  9. they could allow it in a limited way, but it should match the yellow kiosk and blend in somewhat.

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