Advertisement

A brief history of the Baltimore Bike Share, from its birth to its eventual downfall

Baltimore has shut down it’s troubled bike share program. The city has turned its attention to dockless, electric scooters.

The Baltimore Bike Share came and went in less than two years. City officials on Wednesday announced that they were shutting down the program and instead entering a partnership with Bird and Lime for dockless bikes and scooters.

Here’s a look back at how the $2.36 million program was born, evolved and ultimately crumbled.

Advertisement

» Planning for the program began several years before the Baltimore Bike Share launched in October 2016 with 200 bicycles at 20 stations. Renting a bike cost $2 for a 45-minute single trip or $15 for a monthly pass for unlimited rides over 30 days. The program was paid for by state and federal grants, as well as sponsorships.

» The bike share was expected to expand to 500 bicycles at 50 stations by the spring of 2017. But many bikes were stolen or not returned, and officials pushed back the program’s expansion to the fall of 2017. They blamed a delay in receiving a steel component for bike docks from the manufacturer.

» A slew of thefts led the bike share to temporarily shut down last year from Sept. 17-Oct. 15 to allow its Canadian vendor and maintenance contractor to reset the system. The bikes were outfitted with new locks, updated GPS technology, fresh paint and other hardware before the program relaunched with about 50 bikes — a quarter of its original fleet.

» Following the relaunch, there were discrepancies between the number of bikes available on the street versus those shown as available on its mobile app.

» Jay Decker, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s former bike share coordinator, left his job at the DOT one day before the program’s one-year anniversary in October. In December he was named director of field operations for Bewegen, the program’s Canadian vendor. Decker negotiated for the new job while overseeing the city’s bike share.

» In February, Lyft announced plans to sponsor five Baltimore Bike Share stations for $270,000 over three years. The “transportation hubs” at the Baltimore Visitor Center, National Aquarium, Harbor East, Hopkins Place and Shot Tower bike share stations were also slated to became designated pick-up zones for the rideshare company.

» Bird dropped its fleet of electric scooters in Baltimore in June.

» On Aug. 15, the city announced it would shut down the Bike Share in favor of dockless Lime bikes and Bird scooters.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this story.

Advertisement
Advertisement