Don’t count Baltimore out. The “City of Firsts” is taking a second shot at starting a bike share program. Yesterday, Baltimore Magazine reported that Baltimore is “seeking approval from MDOT and the State Highway Administration” to try its hand at negotiating with Alta to operate the municipality’s bike share system.
Last October, a year-long negotiation between Baltimore and B-cycle fell through after B-cycle missed the deadline set by the city to secure enough funds from local sponsorship to support the bike share system’s operations, Baltimore Magazine reported.
Baltimore’s businesses and organizations must have missed the memo about the local economic benefits of bike share systems. So here you go [PDF], Baltimore. You’re welcome.
Baltimore had planned to fund start-up and construction costs but expected B-cycle, the presumptive program operator at the time, to fund operations independently of financial support from the municipality.
This announcement comes at the same time that Maryland state agencies are requesting federal funds to support Baltimore’s bike share program, Baltimore Magazine noted.
What isn’t yet clear is whether Baltimore has changed its terms for funding operations since last year’s erstwhile agreement with B-cycle:
Does the city still plan to use its funds exclusively for start-up and construction costs as they had originally agreed with B-cycle? Or will the federal funds that the state of Maryland is requesting for Baltimore’s bike share program be available to support operational costs for an Alta-operated system?