Baltimore officials are working diligently to encourage city residents to participate in the Bike Shore program. Some residents opt out of the program, because they cannot afford the cost of even the shortest trip. The Downtown Partnership is stepping in to provide low-income residents with reduced cost of monthly passes. For $3 a month, low-income riders will have access to helmets and bikes for unlimited one-hour trips.
In order to be eligible for the Downtown Partnership Access Pass, recipients must be enrolled in the Maryland Food Supplemental Program. Once approved for the program, riders will have the option of renewing the pass on a monthly basis or canceling at any time.
“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. “I encourage other businesses to do the same so that Bike Share is affordable and accessible to all who would like to use it.”
The Downtown Partnership will give $10,000 to subsidize monthly Baltimore Bike Share Passes. To help homeless veterans to improve their situation, the Baltimore Bike Share program is extending them an employment opportunity. The job duties will entail repairing and maintaining the bicycles.
The city launched the program in October, with 185 bikes at 21 different stations that are mostly located in the downtown area. A plan to expand to 456 bikes and 50 stations will begin in the spring of 2017. During the month of October, riders took more than 5,800 trips and rode 8,000 miles.
Regular and Pedelec (large electric-assisted) bicycles are available. City officials are seeking additional sponsorships, with the hope of expanding the program even further and offering how-to-ride classes.