Howard County Bikeshare announced the following on August 10th:

We are excited to announce the opening of the Howard County Bikeshare system on Friday, August 14th
Because of the temporary closure, annual memberships will be extended by 3 months
Find out more about the memberships here: https://howardcountybikeshare.com/pricing

Howard County Bikeshare had been closed since March 24th due to COVID-19:  https://twitter.com/HCbikeshare/status/1242539816719392769?s=20

A BIG question I had about this announcement had to do with the cleaning of these bikes in this time of COVID-19. After asking (the Howard County Office of Transportation) yesterday I was notified that the following had been updated on the Howard County Bikeshare website by the vendor that actually runs the program (Bewegen Technologies, Inc.):

Health and Safety Response

Our Engagement
At each station visit, we clean and disinfect
– Bike handles
– Bike saddles
– Kiosk pinpads and screen

Your Engagement
– Disinfect handles and saddle before and after using a bike
– Disinfect kiosk screen and pinpad before and after using it

The safety of our team and our users is our priority.
Please follow these easy steps to keep everyone healthy.

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I am not 100% sure this gives me the warm and fuzzy that all is being done with the bikes for the public during this pandemic. No mention of how often the vendor visits the stations to conduct cleaning (maybe it is daily or multiple times a week or almost never…I just do not see that information on the website).

The vendor does suggest you should do your part in cleaning the bikes if you plan to use them (see above).

Have thoughts on the relaunch of this program in Howard County? Let me know in the comments.

Scott E

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