Sep 27, 2023 - News

Houston City Council approves new BCycle lifeline

Several bright red bicycles sit at a BCycle station in downtown Houston

BCycle has been in Houston since 2012. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Houston BCycle is back from the dead — for now.

Why it matters: Houston Bike Share, the nonprofit that runs the citywide bike share system, is in dire financial straits and recently threatened to close its remaining stations within two months without intervention.

Driving the news: The City of Houston is giving BCycle one more lifeline before the service ends and is replaced with a new bike share network from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.

  • City Council voted Wednesday to give Houston Bike Share upward of $540,000 to keep BCycle afloat until Metro's network comes online within the next six months.
  • Mayor Sylvester Turner said during Wednesday's City Council meeting that the funds will keep BCycle going for a year and will help provide a smooth transition for users from BCycle to Metro's system.

Yes, but: District A Councilwoman Amy Peck, District G Councilwoman Mary Nan Huffman, and at-large Councilmen Mike Knox and Michael Kubosh voted no.

  • "In my view, we're investing in a failing corporation," Knox said during the meeting.

Details: BCycle operates 150 stations across Houston, mostly in the Inner Loop, but many have closed due to the nonprofit's financial woes.

  • The funding will help BCycle keep about 60 stations open with hopes of reopening some that have already shuttered.

Meanwhile, the Metro board will vote Thursday on a contract with PBSC Urban Solutions, an international bike-sharing company, to build and operate its 20 initial transit-adjacent bike share stations.

  • The new program is expected to expand in the coming years.

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