City to issue refunds to all Baltimore Bike Share members — eventually

All 260 people who still had monthly or annual Baltimore Bike Share memberships when the program was ended in August will receive refunds, it’s just not clear when.

The city transportation and finance departments are still working on figuring out a process for issuing the refunds, said German Vigil, a spokesman for the city Department of Transportation.

The city will issue the refunds — at a total cost of $15,301 — regardless of whether the members called to request one, Vigil said.

Those with $100 founding/annual memberships will be refunded the unused balance as of Aug. 1, he said. Users who purchased a $15 monthly pass for July and/or August will be refunded for those months.

The program, which cost $3.2 million, struggled to overcome a bike maintenance backlog and never expanded to the promised 500 bicycles at 50 docking stations. The city replaced bike share on Aug. 15 with pilot agreements allowing Bird and Lime to place dockless scooters on streets.

» A timeline of the Baltimore Bike Share program, from its birth to its eventual downfall

Baltimore City — not the program’s Canadian vendor, Bewegen Technologies — plans to refund users, Vigil said, because Bewegen “shut down their payment processing system as part of ending their operations in Baltimore” and told the city it could not reopen the system to issue repayments.

Those receiving refunds include 169 founding members, 90 monthly members and one member with a subsidized Downtown Partnership monthly pass.

Sixty-seven Baltimore Bike Share members called the city to request refunds, and 15 were rejected because their memberships expired before July 1.

“DOT understands the frustration of past bike share members throughout this process and we are doing everything possible to ensure that they receive reimbursement,” Vigil said in an email.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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