Howard County Bikeshare Ending

Howard County Bikeshare, a bikeshare pilot program that provided fitness-friendly transportation in Columbia and Ellicott City, is coming to an end this month, as officials evaluate the next generation of services to provide county residents.

Existing bicycles and stations will be removed beginning February 21st. The current system relies on outdated 3G technology for communication between components, and upgrades have been determined to be cost-prohibitive.

“Our Bikeshare program has been widely used by residents and visitors for recreation, most often to bike around Lake Kittamaqundi and downtown Columbia,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “While our pilot program is ending, we now have the opportunity to test other modes of transportation for our community. We’re grateful to our many community partners who have collaborated with us throughout this process to ensure we’re providing the best options to our residents.”    

The vendor, Bewegen Technologies, will remove all equipment by February 28th. Howard County Bikeshare members will have their memberships prorated.                      

Bikeshare use has declined significantly since the onset of the pandemic. The program recorded 1242 rides in 2020 after a 5-month closure, compared to a peak of 5468 rides in 2019. The program recovered slightly in 2021 recording 2788 individual rides. The most popular station was located near Lake Kittamaqundi.   

Howard County is currently working with community partners in Downtown Columbia and vendors to pilot shared electric scooters to Columbia. Implementation of a shared scooter program has been delayed because of both the pandemic and changes in business expansions plans of a vendor, SPIN, over the past several months. The Office of Transportation will assess rebidding the bikeshare contract after conducting a report on the e-scooter pilot later this year.  

Image woman on bikeshare bike

Shared Electric Scooters

In Spring 2022, Howard County expects the launch of a Shared Electric Scooter program.  One permit was awarded by the County to the e-scooter operator, SPIN, for a one-year trial period from March 15, 2021 to March 14, 2022.  SPIN delayed their launch date due to the COVID pandemic. A new permit is being issued in March 2022.  

SPIN is permitted to provide shared e-scooter service to the Downtown Columbia and Gateway Business Park communities as shown on our two maps. To learn more about SPIN’s operations in the U.S. and internationally, visit the SPIN website .

More information on Howard County e-scooter operations will be posted here as it becomes available.

 

Image escooter

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