Please log in to view images

« prev   random   next »

3
1

Baltimore Bike Share temporarily shutting down amid thefts

By zzyzzx follow zzyzzx   2017 Sep 20, 7:37am 2,258 views   27 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-bike-share-shutdown-20170912-story.html
Baltimore is temporarily shutting down its $2.36 million bike-share program, which has suffered so many thefts and maintenance backups that most of the bicycles are out of service.

Baltimore Bike Share will close Sunday and reopen Oct. 15 to provide time for the installation of additional locking equipment on the bicycle docks and to prepare for an overdue expansion of the system, city officials said Tuesday.

“We wanted to let our subscribers know we’re taking it really seriously,” said Michelle Pourciau, the city’s transportation director. “We’re committed to this. We’re working closely on it. We’re keeping our eyes on it.”

City officials have met with the system’s Canadian manufacturer, Bewegen, and its local maintenance contractor, veteran-owned Corps Logistics in Westport, to discuss fixes to the problems.

Bewegen has agreed to pay for the additional locking device in the bicycle docks to prevent the bikes from being wrenched out without payment, Pourciau said. The company did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The program launched last year with 200 bicycles for rent at 20 stations, with plans to expand to 500 bicycles at 50 stations in the spring.

The bikes cost $2 to rent for a 45-minute single trip or $15 for a monthly pass, which provides users an unlimited number of 45-minute rides for 30 days.

The program did not expand on schedule — officials blamed a delay in receiving a steel component for the bike docks from the manufacturer — and a high rate of thefts and a maintenance backlog caused bicycle shortages.

Three times in August, the Bike Share mobile app showed fewer than a third of the 200 bicycles were available at docks across the city, The Baltimore Sun found. That’s a much lower percentage than was available in other cities with similar programs.

Baltimore isn’t the only bike-share system to struggle with theft. Capital Bikeshare in Washington faced a similar problem in 2010. Officials Addressed it by improving the locks on its docking stations, said Paul DeMaio, a principal at MetroBike LLC, a bike-share consulting firm, who helped design the Arlington, Va., portion of the D.C. system.

“The vendor at the time paid for the modified component, which we had installed in all the docks,” he said. “We did not close the entire system down. But I think that is probably a wise move, because the fleet is very important, and if they’re losing bikes, they need the necessary improvements to ensure the fleet stays in place once docked.”

The bicycles are outfitted with GPS technology, so the stolen or abandoned bikes were usually recovered. But thefts and other non-returns of the bicycles had become such an issue that two maintenance employees were devoted solely to bike recovery, officials said.

Bicycles are often damaged when they're ripped out of their docks or ditched in an alley, which has contributed to the maintenance backlog that leaves about 100 bicycles at a time awaiting fixes.

Having watched bicycles disappear from Bike Share docks around Baltimore over the past few months, Brian Seel thought the number shown on the app looked too high.

He said he reached out to the Baltimore Bike Share Facebook site and was told it was a “rebalancing issue” — that the missing bikes must be at another station.

So Seel, a 31-year-old software developer and bicyclist who lives in Upper Fells Point, spent two and a half hours on Labor Day riding around to count the bikes himself. He took a picture of each station and wrote about the project on his blog, Baltimore Around the World.

The Baltimore Bike Share app at the time reported 45 available bicycles, Seel wrote. The total in his count? Four.

“I was quite surprised it was that low,” he said in an interview. “I knew it’d be low, but four was quite shocking.”

Seel said he understands the need for a shutdown to add the new locks and work out the kinks in the system. What troubled him more than the theft problem, he said, was the attempt by Bike Share officials to explain it away. He called their communication “absolutely horrific.”

“If people understand we have this issue, I don’t think there’d be as much frustration as there is,” Seel said. They just need to be much more upfront with it.”

City transportation officials did not respond to a follow-up email seeking comment on Seel’s criticisms.

Maintenance crews have been removing bicycles from the system for the past week in anticipation of the shutdown, said Jim Duffney, founder and CEO of Corps Logistics.

“We’ve been taking the bikes off the street for a little bit,” he said. “But I’d try to keep them downtown, try to keep some bikes around the harbor for the weekend, do what I could.”

Dr. George Wittenberg rides past at least three different bicycle docks on Maryland Avenue on his commute downtown from his home in Rogers Forge.

The 53-year-old physician and scientist said he saw lots of people using the system when it launched last fall, but the bike stations he’s seen have been mostly empty for at least three months.

“I’m not surprised” by the shutdown, Wittenberg said. “Clearly the system has problems.”


#crime #biking
1   justme   ignore (0)   2017 Sep 20, 7:40am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

It's all Obama's fault! And black people! Look!
3   WookieMan   ignore (4)   2017 Sep 20, 8:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

That's bad. Chicago has a similar system, but it's working pretty darn well is my understanding. I remember visiting Baltimore as a kid in the early 90's. Seemed like a cool city. Things change obviously or my perception as a kid was different then that of an adult.
4   anonymous   ignore (null)   2017 Sep 20, 8:15am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I prefer Baltimore to Philadelphia. Traffic isn't as bad and roads are less bad. Lots of blacks in both cities, but Philadelphia is dirty as hell.
5   zzyzzx   ignore (2)   2017 Sep 20, 8:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Obligatory:
6   zzyzzx   ignore (2)   2017 Sep 20, 8:18am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

errc says
Traffic isn't as bad and roads are less bad.


That is so true. It's much easier to park in Baltimore City than a lot of other major cities. I fucking hate driving pretty much anywhere in DC because of this.
7   zzyzzx   ignore (2)   2017 Sep 20, 8:19am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Obligatory:
8   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostakovitch   ignore (52)   2017 Sep 20, 8:22am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Number the bikes, and put transponders on the bikes that broadcast their numbers as an SSID or something and publish the numbers of stolen bikes with a posted for blowing the thief the fuck away.

Teams of guys in shit cars with shotguns can make a living out of driving around Baltimore collecting bike bounties for nothing more than shooting thieves and bringing back the bikes.

No more problem.
9   Strategist   ignore (2)   2017 Sep 20, 8:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

zzyzzx says
Baltimore is temporarily shutting down its $2.36 million bike-share program, which has suffered so many thefts and maintenance backups that most of the bicycles are out of service.


If you want to eliminate this problem you have to get rid of the thieves, not the bikes.
10   zzyzzx   ignore (2)   2019 Dec 3, 7:21am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Nigga stole my bike:
11   SunnyvaleCA   ignore (1)   2019 Dec 3, 7:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

There’s a reason some areas of some cities are “food deserts” — places without supermarkets where you can access the food directly (not in locked cabinets like at the liquor stores). Maybe bicycle projects should figure out locations by taking cues from the supermarkets and for the exact same reason.
12   Goran_K   ignore (3)   2019 Dec 3, 8:26am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I was talking about this with a friend in San Diego. In San Diego they don't just do "bike share", they do "fully motorized scooter" share.

I saw them literally littered all over downtown. I always wondered what would stop someone taking their pickup truck and just dumping all of them in the back to sell for parts or salvage?
13   Tenpoundbass   ignore (14)   2019 Dec 3, 8:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The Liberals that dream the hardest about bicycle Utopias drive Super Cars, and only ride $20,000 bikes on Million dollar sport tracks or Mountain trails.
They would never put themselves in harms way to get run over on a busy metropolitan street on a bike.
If Bikes were so practical in City commuting China Metropolitan streets would still be crowded with bicycles like it was just 20 to 30 years ago.
Now they are just like everywhere else, the only people riding bikes in the city, are those trying to make a Social statement, financial reasons, and of course exercise.
Nobody is doing it because it's their preferred mode of transportation.
14   BayArea   ignore (1)   2019 Dec 3, 8:31am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Goran_K says
I was talking about this with a friend in San Diego. In San Diego they don't just do "bike share", they do "fully motorized scooter" share.

I saw them literally littered all over downtown. I always wondered what would stop someone taking their pickup truck and just dumping all of them in the back to sell for parts or salvage?


GPS chips
15   WineHorror1   ignore (1)   2019 Dec 3, 8:50am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
That's bad. Chicago has a similar system, but it's working pretty darn well is my understanding. I remember visiting Baltimore as a kid in the early 90's. Seemed like a cool city. Things change obviously or my perception as a kid was different then that of an adult.

You haven't experienced Baltimore unless you went to Hammerjacks. That was back when Baltimore was a blue collar white people town.
16   Fortwaynemobile   ignore (2)   2019 Dec 3, 9:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Temporary = forever?
17   Tenpoundbass   ignore (14)   2019 Dec 3, 10:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Commies demand their citizens ride bikes, because it Gasoline is a huge drain on Despot Communist Regimes.
It eventually kills their whole scam and blows the jig.

So if everyone could just ride bikes that would be great.
18   theoakman   ignore (0)   2019 Dec 3, 12:32pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I rode my bike to work for 6 years straight during graduate school. I always had to bring my bike into the lab as opposed to chaining it up outside because there were thieves who would just cut the locks and be on their way.
19   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostakovitch   ignore (52)   2019 Dec 3, 5:07pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bike share would make more sense with mounts for M134 on the handlebars.

You could be safe and comfortable while out on errands.
20   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostakovitch   ignore (52)   2019 Dec 3, 5:12pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

zzyzzx says
Obligatory:


This is why it's good to know someone with a gun or just have one.

This clown might have learned his lesson if the chick showed up and started screaming RAPE! FUCKING! RAPE! and emptied a 15 round magazine into his head and internal organs and took a long BALLANTINE! ALE! piss on his face while onlookers gathered around to cheer the hero and sing, DIE! YOU! RAPIST! THIEVING FUCK!, FUCKING! DIE!
21   rd6B   ignore (1)   2019 Dec 3, 5:24pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says
mounts for M134 on the handlebars.

AF's grandfather?
23   Shaman   ignore (2)   2019 Dec 3, 6:59pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

SunnyvaleCA says
There’s a reason some areas of some cities are “food deserts” — places without supermarkets where you can access the food directly (not in locked cabinets like at the liquor stores). Maybe bicycle projects should figure out locations by taking cues from the supermarkets and for the exact same reason.


So basically in those areas the social contract is broken completely and no trust is expected or given. That’s what thieving gets you.
24   Karloff   ignore (0)   2019 Dec 3, 8:34pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

How naive does one have to be to set up a business like this? I'm sure if there were some basic psychological profiling done on people like this, you'd find they grew up in safe, sheltered communities, far from the dirty, greedy fingers of the Real World(tm).

Is this the same profile of the typical open borders supporter? One who views everyone as kind, good, and selfless? One who would never wish harm upon another (unless they voted conservative), and assumes everyone else is like them?

Such people cannot seem to learn from the tragedies that befall others. They must suffer them personally in order to obtain understanding. Even then, there's no guarantee.
25   komputodo   ignore (2)   2019 Dec 3, 8:46pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
or my perception as a kid was different then that of an adult.

Ya think? As a kid I thought my dad's friends were smart...a few years later, I realized they were all idiots.
26   komputodo   ignore (2)   2019 Dec 3, 8:51pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says
zzyzzx says
Obligatory:


This is why it's good to know someone with a gun or just have one.

This clown might have learned his lesson if the chick showed up and started screaming RAPE! FUCKING! RAPE! and emptied a 15 round magazine into his head and internal organs and took a long BALLANTINE! ALE! piss on his face while onlookers gathered around to cheer the hero and sing, DIE! YOU! RAPIST! THIEVING FUCK!, FUCKING! DIE!

Is that a girl with no tits with a boys bike or a dude who is transisitoning and is just starting to get his hormone titties?
27   komputodo   ignore (2)   2019 Dec 3, 8:57pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

SunnyvaleCA says
There’s a reason some areas of some cities are “food deserts” — places without supermarkets where you can access the food directly (not in locked cabinets like at the liquor stores). Maybe bicycle projects should figure out locations by taking cues from the supermarkets and for the exact same reason.

I think they just need more funding....throw some more money at it....

about   best comments   contact   one year ago   suggestions