By the time you read this, you should be able to walk down to one of around 20 kiosks, rent a bicycle and take a two-wheeled joy ride downtown.
Baltimore’s much-delayed, but highly anticipated Bike Share program kicks off today. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and others will be announcing the rollout of the program and then taking the first ride on the newly minted blue Bewegen bikes down from City Hall to the Inner Harbor. Then, starting at 11:30 a.m., the Bike Share program will be hosting a party complete with food trucks and activities at West Shore Park right there in the harbor.
The city’s Department of Transportation has been busy over the past few days getting the bike rental program ready for its rollout. They installed the first kiosk in Harbor East two weeks ago, but have been getting them ready at 19 other locations stretching north-to-south from McHenry Row to upper Mt. Vernon and east-to-west from Hollins Market to the Can Company building in Canton.
Burning the midnight oil as we prepare for the Big Bike Launch ??. We are so excited!!!!!? pic.twitter.com/rHL0KvXCRo
— Baltimore City DOT (@BmoreCityDOT) October 28, 2016
They’re not even halfway done, though. DOT still has 30 more bike stations to install in other parts of the city through next year. Here’s a map, which will also be available at each kiosk so you know where they plan to put them in and where to park your bike at currently operating stations when you’re done riding.
Rides will cost $2 for 45 minutes, or you can get a monthly membership for $15.
Even before the program has begun, it seems to be doing well. Bike Share’s website shows there are 481 people actively signed up for the rental program before they’ve even logged a single mile.
If you get a chance to give them a spin, let us know how it goes. And if you haven’t gotten your cycling fill for the day, there are a couple fun Halloween-themed biking events happening tonight in Baltimore. Bike Share will even be pitching in with wheels for those who want to attend this month’s Baltimore Bike Party, but don’t have their own bike.
Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.