Downtown Partnership Donates $10,000 to Expand Bike Share Access to Low-Income Riders

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Courtesy Baltimore Bike Share/Facebook

Low-income Baltimore residents will have a new affordable option for getting around starting this spring.

The nonprofit Downtown Partnership announced yesterday that it’s donating $10,000 to the Baltimore Bike Share program to create the Access Pass, a subsidized membership that will allow city residents enrolled in the Maryland Food Supplemental Program to sign up for only $3 per month. The pass is good for unlimited one-hour rides for each month. (The regular monthly membership for Bike Share users is $15 for unlimited 45-minute rides.)

Two hundred passes will be available starting in the spring. In keeping with safe standards, the nonprofit is providing a free helmet with each pass. The membership can be cancelled at any time, the nonprofit said.

“Bike Share is already an important part of Baltimore’s transit infrastructure and, thanks to the generosity of Downtown Partnership and the new Access Pass, it will be more affordable and easily available,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh in the nonprofit’s announcement.

The Mayor’s Office and the Downtown Partnership want other organizations to follow suit by joining up as partners to make Baltimore Bike Share more accessible for all.

“Bike Share better connects our City and we want to do everything we can to promote its use, especially if it means removing a financial barrier,” said Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership, in the announcement. “I encourage other businesses to do the same so that Bike Share is affordable and accessible to all who would like to use it.”

Bike Share will be 10 weeks old this Friday. The program kicked off on in festive fashion on Oct. 21 with party and the unveiling of 21 rental kiosks stretching north-south from upper Mt. Vernon to Locust Point and east-west from Canton to Hollins Market. Its website indicates the rental program has been fairly popular so far, with more than 1,100 active users enrolled as of today and nearly 11,400 miles logged over more than 8,400 trips so far.

The program previously said it hopes to install 50 kiosks around the city by the end of 2017.

Ethan McLeod
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