Houston/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on June 14, 2024
Houston BCycle to Cease Operations on June 30, Ending 12-Year City Bike Share InitiativeSource: City of Houston

The city's beloved bike-sharing system is shutting down operations on June 30, putting the brakes on a 12-year run that started with a mere three stations and 18 bikes. Launched in 2012 with a grant from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, procured through the Environmental Protection Agency, the program couldn’t keep up financially on rider fees and sponsorships alone, according to an announcement made available by Houston BCycle.

This closure comes despite Houston City Council's infusion of $500,000 last September, which kept the wheels turning for an additional nine months while the program sought fresh funding sources. But, as is often the case with public service endeavors, the balance sheet reigned supreme. In the interim director of Planning and Development Department, Jennifer Ostlind's own words, "Bike share systems across the United States have experienced similar challenges," and despite Houston BCycle's growth to over 150 stations, becoming the largest non-profit bike share in the nation, dollars, and support proved elusive.

The decision to close isn't for lack of trying. Houston Bike Share, responsible for the city's bike share system, alongside their board of directors, partner agencies, and advocates, has hit the wall when it comes to finding sustainable financial avenues. Since its inception, the program flourished with support from federal grants to county funds and various partnership contributions.

The city will remove stations and bikes over the coming months, repurposing assets through sales to other bike-sharing programs or public auctions to salvage some of the funds.

Houston-Transportation & Infrastructure