The city of Houston is canceling its contract with Houston BCycle, a bike share program that operates 150 stations within the municipality and distributes over 1,300 bicycles to residents.

What happened

The bike sharing system will stop operations June 30. According to a June 14 news release, the city will remove stations and bikes over the next few months, and intends to sell the equipment to other bike share systems or sell it through the city's public surplus auction.

Houston Bike Share, the city's operator of the bike share system, previously announced plans to shut down in September.

However, Houston City Council approved $500,000 to allow operations to continue for nine months until other funding was found. The news release stated that despite the best efforts of the Bike Share board and partners, funding was not attained.

Notable quote

Bike share systems across the United States have experienced similar challenges," said Jennifer Ostlind, Interim Director of Planning and Development Department. "Houston’s system has outlived many others, but we have learned that successful systems that serve more than just recreational purposes require corporate and public support to remain viable."

Taking a step back

Houston Bike Share and the BCycle program started in 2012 with three downtown stations and 18 bikes, which were funded by a grant from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. The program grew into the nation's largest nonprofit bike share program with more than 150 stations.