BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Bikes return to Baltimore after a month-long shutdown due to theft and maintenance backups. City officials said nearly a quarter of bikes from Baltimore Bike Share fleet will be ready to return to the city streets Sunday.
The Baltimore Sun reports that about 50 of the bikes have been refurbished, upgraded with GPS technology, paint, and hardware. The bikes system has been upgraded with new locks to address the theft that “dogged” the system, and stations are being pressure washed also. The Department of Transportation says the new and improve bicycles will be available for rent at select docking stations around the city.
The $2.36 million program suffered over the years from theft and maintenance backups. Because of the issues, in September, the Bike Share Program was temporarily shut down. The Sun says most of the bikes were already out of service at the time of the September 17 shutdown.
The City’s Bike Share coordinator, Jay Decker and Transit chief, Veronica McBeth told the Sun they are hopeful that the relaunch of the program would give users faith in a rebound for the system. They also said they did not know how many stations, or which ones, would have improved locks installed in time to be reopened Sunday.
Last year, the program launched with 200 bikes back out for rent. They had plans to expand to 500 bikes to be spread upon 50 stations.
Officials hope to get the initial fleet of 200 bikes back out on the streets in time for the program’s one-year anniversary this month.
Users may rent a bike for $2 for a 45-minute single trip, or pay $15 for a monthly pass, which offers riders an unlimited number of 45-minute trips for 30 days.