local advertising giant GDS&M have committed to raising the private funds. This may end up being the biggest hiccup to getting the service off the ground. Such partnerships have been tried to launch or expand car sharing service with very limited success. Perhaps bike share will be different.Unfortunately, Mayor Lee Leffingwell took all direct City of Austin funding off the table for this project. Instead, City staff are seeking grant funding from CAMPO for the start-up. 20% of the total budget for the grant, or $500,000, must come from outside sources and without help from the City budget, staff are reaching out to private entities with the goal of 10 private/corporate sponsors at $50,000 each. Mellow Johnny’s parent company and
Assuming the grant funding and matching dollars are secured, the City has a goal of awarding the vendor contracts next summer and launching the full service during SXSW 2013.