In another blow to Baltimore Bike Share, the city has confirmed the program’s official coordinator within the Department of Transportation is on his way out.
Decker’s last day as Baltimore Bike Share coordinator will be this Friday, DOT spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes said in an email Tuesday. The city hired him in December 2015 to help manage its then-much-awaited $2.36 million bike sharing program.
But while its launch was plenty exciting last fall, Baltimore Bike Share had a tough first year fraught with thefts and maintenance backups that saw its initial fleet of 250 or so bikes dwindle drastically.
Officials made the call last month to suspend operations while they sent their remaining inventory back to Canada-based Bewegen Technolgoies, which supplies and performs maintenance on the city’s bikes. The program restarted 10 days ago with about a fifth of its original fleet. Each bike came equipped with a stronger “Baltimore lock” designed to prevent thieves from tearing them out of their docks by the handlebars, along with always-on GPS tracking so program operators can keep tabs on their bikes.
Baltimore Bike Share said on Facebook two weeks ago that the rest of the bikes would be returned to the system “gradually over the next couple of weeks.” Still, The Baltimore Sun found some issues with the relaunched program right away, including that only half of the 50 reactivated bikes were available, and some of them weren’t even showing up as available to rent at docks on the program’s mobile app.
Barnes said the Department of Transportation will be advertising for Decker’s position. His salary was $58,000 in fiscal 2016, according to city records.
Bike Share is still up and running as far as we can tell, though the program’s interactive map online indicates no bikes are available at any of the docks (as of 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday). If you find one, a ride costs $2 for a 45-minute expedition, or you can get a monthly pass for $15 that covers unlimited 45-minute trips.
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