Baltimore City Launches Dockless Technology Pilot Program
Wednesday Aug 15th, 2018
Baltimore Bike Share program to be replaced with multi-mode bike/scooter options
(BALTIMORE, MD) Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau today announced a new dockless pilot program for the City of Baltimore in partnership with Lime, a bike and scooter start-up, and with Bird, the electric scooter start-up, which will provide citizens and visitors with expanded transportation sharing options across the city.
“Responding to the needs of those in our city who desire efficient, accessible and low-cost modes of transportation is the basis of these new partnerships,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “We’re confident that these new dockless options will actually expand transportation access for residents and visitors across our city. In the meantime, we’ll continue to assess the demand for these and other innovative options as a 21st century city determined to serve the varied transportation needs of all who live, work, study and visit here.”
For the past several months, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has received strong interest from private dockless bikeshare and scooter companies that wish to operate in Baltimore. As a result, DOT is initially partnering with Lime and Bird in a pilot program to provide access to both dockless bikes and scooters including electric assist bikes and scooters. During this pilot period, DOT will assess and evaluate the effectiveness of a dockless program which will serve to inform the development of appropriate regulations.
The Department of Transportation and Bewegen will be mutually ending the current Baltimore Bike Share program. DOT and Bewegen Technologies, Inc. fully understand the unique situation and challenges Baltimore Bike Share has encountered since its launch in 2016. Moreover, the current bike share program is not able to meet the growing demand for rental bikes. Consequently, the Department of Transportation has ended its contract with the program vendor, Bewegen and will cease operations today, August 15, 2018. Bewegen will remove the existing bike share inventory by Friday August 17, 2018. Citizens who have purchased Baltimore Bike Share memberships should contact the Department of Transportation at (410) 396-6802 by September 30, 2018 for refund information.
“We are confident that this new partnership with Lime and Bird will enhance transportation options to a great many more citizens across our city,” said Michelle Pourciau, Director. “The Department of Transportation will be evaluating the effectiveness of dockless technology in order to provide the citizens of Baltimore with a dockless program that enables bike and scooter share systems to operate without physical stations. Our ultimate goal is to give the citizens of Baltimore the ability to access a robust dockless program that works for everyone.”
“The city’s approach to alternative transportation such as bikeshare continues to evolve,” said Jon Laria, Chair of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Commission. “Today’s announcement is a positive step towards enhanced mobility for all Baltimoreans, and the Mayor and Director should be commended for responding to the changing market by welcoming dockless operations while providing fair and reasonable regulations.”