Department of Transportation head Shirley O'Day made the announcement about the program's alteration at a recent budget hearing.
"We know we can't afford to spend the millions of dollars it would take to build out this bike-sharing system," O'Day told city councilors. "But our downtown vision plan calls for increased bicycle use. If we can't have bicycles to share, the least we can do is encourage residents to shift at least some of their trips to someone else's bike."
Officials are hoping the bike-stealing program will cut downtown congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the city, and increase physical activity – both through cycling and the act of stealing the bikes.