After Thefts, Maintenance Issues, Year-Old Baltimore Bike Share Program Temporarily Shutting Down

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After less than a year, Baltimore’s Bike Share program is taking a break.

The Baltimore Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will be suspending the program for maintenance and upgrades.

Several bikes from the program have been stolen, and DOT says better locks will be installed on the bikes to prevent theft.

Two-hundred brand new bikes rolled out last year and many are nowhere to be found.

“The last month it’s been obvious that there’s been, like, no bikes out there,” one person said.

Bikes will be unavailable starting September 17, but should be back online by mid-October.

“This is an opportunity for the people in Baltimore to utilize this bike service. And we should be glad to have it, and we should be doing everything we can to keep it,” Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

Another issue is with the app.

The lack of communication has frustrated cyclists, like Brian Seel, who documented his city-wide search for just four bikes available on Labor Day weekend.

“I was shocked. It was way less than I thought,” Seel said. “Even though it looks bad, I think I’m really hopeful for the program. I think they’re going to relaunch, i think they’re going to do well.”

A program that cost the City almost $2.5 million is in need of a major tune up.

Bike Share was launched in October of 2016, and more than 40,000 trips have been taken with its rented bicycles.

According to the stats on the program’s website, there are 1,764 active annual and quarterly members and 7,740 “occasional members.”

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