Big Bike and Scooter Rental Shakeup Coming to Denver

Publically-owned bikeshare company B-Cycle will be scrapped and eventually be replaced, and the city is also planning to overhaul it's pilot dockless bike and scooter rental program.

2 minute read

November 22, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Elizabeth Hernandez reports: "Denver B-cycle, the city’s first shared mobility system, will ride off into the sunset early next year amid declining ridership and a new plan by Denver Public Works to overhaul how the scooters, bike shares and electric bicycles scattered across downtown are regulated."

According to Hernandez, "Denver plans to contract with a new docked bike share to replace B-cycle, but it’s anticipated there will be a months-long gap without such an option in the city. Officials expect to have the new contracts in place over the summer of 2020."

For more on the declining ridership at B-Cycle, see a separate article by Andy Bosselman:

B-cycle ridership has been falling steadily since its peak in 2014. The system’s riders took 377,000 trips that year compared to 305,000 in 2018, a 19-percent decline, according to the annual report. The decrease in riders corresponds roughly with the rise of ride-hail services like Uber and Lyft, and the arrival of dockless scooters and bikes last year. 

As noted in the lede of Hernandez's article, the shakeup in shared mobility is also reaching into the private rental companies as well. "Denver is pumping the brakes on its pilot program for shared scooters, electric bikes and dockless bicycles, trading the current permitting system for a competitive bid process that will result in “one or more companies” landing a contract with the city to operate so-called “micromobility” services," reports Hernandez.

Currently five companies are operating more than 2,700 scooters around the city, according to the article, but both numbers could change.

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