December 12, 2011

Chicago Seeks Partner To Solicit Sponsorships For New Bike Sharing Program

CDOT Issues RFP for Media Broker

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) from companies that can secure sponsorships, partnerships and market outdoor advertising space for the city’s bike sharing program.  The responses to the RFP are due January 5, 2012, and Chicago’s new bike-sharing program is expected to launch in June 2012.

“Chicago is going to offer one of the top bike sharing programs in the country, and we believe the program will be an excellent sponsorship and branding opportunity for companies who are willing to help fund the program,” said Gabe Klein, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation.  “As we have seen in communities across the globe, a wide variety of companies are interested in sponsoring bike-sharing programs to reach professionals, tourists and others who enjoy the convenience of bike sharing.”

Other cities that offer bike-sharing programs and sponsorships include London (Barclays), Boston (New Balance), Minneapolis (Blue Cross Blue Shield) and Miami and Toronto, which offer station sponsorships. 

“We are looking for a media company who can attract partners and sponsors for many different aspects of the bike sharing program, including branding on bikes, bike racks, and even online for the membership page,” said Klein.

Chicago expects to offer 3,000 bikes at 300 bike stations in June 2012, and plans to expand the program to 5,000 bikes and 500 stations in 2013.  City officials anticipate 45,000 annual members and 280,000 casual members.  In addition, more than 150,000 monthly visits to the website and 570,000 page views are expected. 

Six sponsorship opportunities have already been identified and city official are open to others.  These include possibilities on bikes and racks, online ads, stations, the system, events and partnerships. 

The Chicago bike share program will be at the center of the third largest metropolitan area and the second largest Central Business District in the United States.  In 2010, Chicago hosted 39.2 million international and domestic tourists. 

The goals of the sponsorships and advertising opportunities developed through the RFP are:

1.     Build the Chicago Bikeshare Brand

2.     Increase the Usage of Chicago Bikeshare

3.     Generate Revenue for Chicago Bikeshare

RFP information is available online at


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