Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces City One Step Closer to Implementing Bike-Share Program
Mayor says alternative transportation options make communities more livable and will help neighborhoods grow.
This morning, Mayor Rawlings-Blake celebrated the approval by the Board of Estimates of an exclusive negotiating agreement between the City and B-Cycle, a company which specializes in bike sharing programs across the nation. Bike sharing is a vital transportation option that provides bikes to the public for short-term use. Today’s Board of Estimates approval brings Baltimore one step closer to operating a successful bike share program in the city.
“I want to thank the Board of Estimates for approving the exclusive negotiating privilege with B-Cycle,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We are proud to partner with B-Cycle, which is a distinguished leader of successful bike sharing programs in progressive cities throughout the nation. By building on the alternative transportation system that is already in Baltimore, which includes the Charm City Circulator, new bike lanes, hybrid car charging stations, and car sharing with Zipcar, we can make our communities more livable and help our neighborhoods grow.”
Bike sharing concepts have become popular across the world—having started in Europe, in cities like Paris and London. In North America, bike share systems operate in Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Boston, Denver, Chicago, and Montreal.
“B-cycle is extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to work with the City of Baltimore to bring world class bike sharing to your city,” said Lee Jones, Director of Sales at B-Cycle.
Bike sharing allows for short-term bicycle rental to replace the need for a car when taking short trips in and around urban areas. Members can join a bike share system on an annual basis and have unlimited use of bicycles at half hour intervals. With stations established at key locations across the city, users take a bike from one station, pedal to their destination, and return the bike to another station. Bike sharing works with other transportation systems to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide an inexpensive option for short-distance trips.
Over the past few years, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation has been following bike share trends worldwide with the goal of bringing such a system to Baltimore. With a proven track record of operating successful bike share programs nationwide, B-Cycle was chosen as the preferred vendor. Formed by a partnership between Trek Bicycle, Humana, and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, B-cycle is based on a shared belief that bicycles should be a vehicle for positive health and environmental change, as well as an important part of a community’s transportation ecosystem. Since making its debut in Denver, CO in 2010, B-cycle has been utilized over 100,000 times within that city, 43% of which replaced a car trip in the city’s downtown area.
The exclusive negotiating privilege provides B-Cycle with the opportunity to secure sponsors and recruit membership in the system. Within 180 days, B-Cycle must enter into a contract that guarantees no annual operating expense to the City. The City of Baltimore looks forward to having a vital bike sharing program, which will provide an inexpensive transportation option, reduce traffic congestion, and create a healthier environment for everyone.
Visit our Website @ www.baltimorecity.gov