Howard Bikeshare Pilot Ends, Next Gen. Transit Begins

Howard recently announced the end of their bikeshare pilot program; officials are evaluating the program’s data and the next steps. 

Howard County’s bikeshare pilot program provided fitness-friendly transportation in Columbia and Ellicott City came to an end this month, county officials are evaluating the next generation of services to provide county residents.

According to the press release: 

Our Bikeshare program has been widely used by residents and visitors for recreation, most often to bike around Lake Kittamaqundi and downtown Columbia. While our pilot program is ending, we now have the opportunity to test other modes of transportation for our community. We’re grateful to our many community partners who have collaborated with us throughout this process to ensure we’re providing the best options to our residents. – Calvin Ball, Howard County Executive

Bikeshare use has declined significantly since the onset of the pandemic. The program recorded 1242 rides in 2020 after a 5-month closure, compared to a peak of 5468 rides in 2019. The program recovered slightly in 2021 recording 2788 individual rides. The most popular station was located near Lake Kittamaqundi.

Howard County is currently working with community partners in Downtown Columbia and vendors to pilot shared electric scooters to Columbia. Implementation of a shared scooter program has been delayed because of both the pandemic and changes in business expansions plans of a vendor, SPIN, over the past several months. The Office of Transportation will assess rebidding the bikeshare contract after conducting a report on the e-scooter pilot later this year.

Read the full press release.