City gives company right to develop bike-sharing
The city Board of Estimates has approved a deal giving a company that specializes in bicycle-sharing the exclusive right to develop such a program in Baltimore. B-Cycle, a Waterloo, Wis.-based company, has been given 180 days to negotiate a contract to provide a bike-sharing at no cost to the city.
Such programs, which typically station rental bikes at strategic locations around a city so that members can use them whenever they need them, are widespread in Europe. Cities with such programs include Paris, London and Seville, Spain. In the United States, B-Cycle operates such programs in such cities as Chicago, Denver and San Antonio.
Washington has had a program up and running since September 2010, though with another vendor. The programs operate in a manner similar to the Zipcar service that rents vehicles to members, using set-aside parking spaces in Baltimore and other cities.