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Denver Bike Sharing Board Votes To End B-Cycle Next Year; City Will Try To Keep Service Going

DENVER (CBS4) - Cyclists, get your bike rides in now. The owner of the Denver B-cycle is closing up shop and stopping bike service at the end of January 2020.

Denver Bike Sharing, the nonprofit owner and operator of Denver B-cycle, is ending the service. It's part of a "potential transition" that will result in collaboration with a new vendor on a new product. B-cycle will end on Jan. 30, 2020.

The B-Cycle Program (credit: CBS)

"We are faced with an aging system that needs to be replaced," Denver Bike Sharing executive director Mike Pletsch said in a statement. "Upgrading our current product is not financially viable. Our contract with B-Cycle LLC is up at the end of January so unfortunately there will be a gap in service as we move through this transition."

Pletsch said the landscape of shared transportation has changed dramatically and created new challenged for sustainable bike-sharing. Tourists and walk-up customers have been the backbone of their service, and increased competition has impacted the service over the last two years.

The Denver B-Cycle program. (credit: CBS)

"It's a way to get exercise at the same time going somewhere faster," said cyclist Constantin Nickonov.

He said he's been a B-Cycle user from just about the beginning.

"I live a little bit on the periphery of downtown so it's a way for me to get downtown quickly and effectively and not have to deal with traffic and everything else."

B CYCLE b-cycle
(credit: CBS)

Denver Public Works, who partnered with Denver Bike Share to run the service, will put operation of the service out to bid, creating a potential lifeline for the service.

"Biking is a huge part of our city and we want people to find other ways to get around town aside from jumping into your car," said Heather Burke-Bellile with Denver Public Works

She emphasized that Denver remains committed to cyclists, noting that in the next five years the city plans to add 125 additional miles of bike lanes.

(credit: CBS)

Nickonov was saddened when he heard that Denver B-Cycle, which has been in Denver since 2010, was going away.

"It's a bit of a loss, I've been going through my head, 'How am I going to do this stuff?' Because I don't like driving downtown," he said.

Denver Bike Sharing said although they are looking to transition, there would still be a gap in B-Cycle service starting Jan. 30, 2020.

"There were hundreds of thousands of rides through Denver B-Cycle that helped introduce our city to micro-mobility and we want to thank them for that," said Burke-Bellile.

"Thanks to the B-Cycle crew that's kept it going for 10 years!" said Nickonov.

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