- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2017

Baltimore’s nascent bike-share program will shut down for about a month while company officials work to improve the security for its cycle fleet, The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

Baltimore Bike Share’s (BBS) service suspension will begin Sunday and last until Oct. 15. The move comes after a rash of brazen bicycle thefts that have perplexed officials at Canada’s Bewegen Technologies, which provides Charm City’s rental bikes.

“We don’t have this issue anywhere else, not at this level,” Bewegen CEO Alain Ayotte said, The Sun reported. “Our locking system is recognized [as] very, very up to industry standard, but due to the issues that occurred in Baltimore this summer, we did add additional security.”

Unlike Washington, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare, which only provides 3-speed bikes, Baltimore’s system boasts “the largest Pedelec (electric-assist) bicycle fleet in North America,” according to the official BBS website. BBS also offers 8-speed bikes and uses GPS technology on its entire fleet, so riders can track their previous routes on the service’s smartphone app.

Because of the bikes’ GPS tracker, Baltimore authorities have been able to track down and return many of the stolen bikes, but damage sustained when they’ve been forcibly removed from docking stations has resulted in a repair backlog, The Sun reported.

• Ken Shepherd can be reached at kshepherd@washingtontimes.com.

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