Alta Bicycle Share, which operates bike sharing systems in several U.S. cities, has agreed to be acquired by Bikeshare Holdings LLC, an investment group that plans to relocate Alta headquarters from Portland, OR to New York City.
Alta operates bike share systems in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., the Boston, San Francisco Bay area, Toronto, Seattle, Columbus, Chattanooga and Melbourne, Australia. Riders on Alta-operated bikes have taken more than 28 million trips and travelled more than 45 million miles to date.
The acquisition will bring fresh capital to the company, allowing Alta to improve the customer experience as it expands operations to serve more riders. The Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share will relocate and consolidate its headquarters in New York City.
Bikeshare Holdings LLC is a newly-formed investment venture that includes the CEOs of Equinox, a fitness and high performance lifestyle leader, and the real estate firm Related Companies as well as Jonathan Schulhof, a private investor who led the transaction. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Jay Walder, one of the worlds most innovative transportation executives, will be named CEO of Alta Bicycle Share upon closing of the transaction. Walder has more than 30 years of international experience in the public transportation business, including senior roles at three of the worlds largest transit systems. Most recently, Walder was the Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation in Hong Kong: he was previously Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York; and Managing Director of Finance and Planning at Transport for London. He has also served as a Partner at McKinsey & Company London and a lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Walder holds a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, Harpur College, and a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He also has served as a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Public Transit Association (APTA).
We are passionate about businesses and initiatives that enhance health and wellness and are excited about the acquisition of Alta and utilizing our deep operational experience and our customer-focused expertise to expand the availability of bicycle share programs,” said Harvey Spevak, a principal of Bikeshare Holdings LLC and CEO of Equinox. “We are thrilled that Jay Walder, one of the most experienced, heralded and creative transportation and infrastructure executives in the world, has joined us to lead this effort.
Jeff Blau, a principal of Bikeshare Holdings LLC and CEO of Related Companies said, We are deeply committed to building great cities and enthusiastic about acquiring Alta Bicycle Share. We look forward to not only expanding bicycle share systems, but also enhancing every aspect of the customer service platform utilizing best-in-class technology and new partnerships.
Jay Walder said, In an increasingly urban world, cities large and small are turning to bike sharing as a necessary ingredient of urban life. Bike share improves mobility and gives people control over how and when they travel. The enormous popularity of Citi Bike in New York provides a national model of how people are using this technology to enhance their quality of life and promote sustainability. We see a tremendous opportunity to leverage private investment capital and build highly engaging corporate and media relationships to create and enhance bike share partnerships in key urban environments.
Jonathan Schulhof, a principal of Bikeshare Holdings LLC said, We love investments that enhance the quality of city life. I tip my hat to the founders of Alta who had the vision to bring bike share to the United States. We look forward to bringing these systems to the next level.
A new contract is being entered into between the City of New York and Alta for the expansion of Citi Bike, the nations largest bicycle share. Alta will bring an additional 6,000 bicycles to the system, making it more accessible to more New Yorkers. Citi Bike has proven hugely popular, serving upwards of 40,000 people per day through the spring, summer and fall. Citi Bike currently has over 90,000 Annual Members and more than 641,000 short-term passes have been used. Since its launch Citi Bike riders have taken over 14 million trips and covered more than 25 million miles.
The founders of Alta, Michael Jones, Mia Birk, Steve Durrant, George Hudson, Brett Hondorp, and Jeff Olson said, We could not be more thrilled. The investors of Bikeshare Holdings LLC bring experience, commitment, and passion equal to ours in spreading the benefits of bicycle transportation far and wide. As we ourselves are ‘change agents in our work on sustainable transportation, we embrace the changes that Bike Share LLC will bring to Alta, to our communities, and to our future.
Founded in 2009, Alta Bicycle Share is a leader in deploying and managing bicycle share systems around the world. Alta provides solutions for all aspects of bike share, from location assessment and business modeling to system operations, marketing, maintenance and expansion. Alta currently manages Divvy (Chicago), Citi Bike (NYC), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, OH), Bay Area Bike Share (BABS, San Francisco Bay Area), Capital Bike Share (Washington DC, Arlington, VA, Alexandria, VA and Montgomery County, MD), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, and Brookline, MA), Bike Chattanooga (TN), Bike Share Toronto and Melbourne Bike Share, Australia. Alta recently launched Pronto Cycle Share in Seattle, Washington. Alta Bicycle Share was a spin-off of Alta Planning + Design, a consulting firm that creates active communities where bicycling and walking are safe, normal, healthy and fun daily activities. Alta Planning + Design is not part of the Alta Bicycle Share acquisition.