Pandemic putting brakes on Honolulu bike-share program

Known as Biki, the program is considering decommissioning as many as 50 of about 130 stations currently in service, Bikeshare Hawaii Executive Director Todd Boulanger said.

The pandemic has taken a financial toll on the program launched four years ago, and the next three-to-six months will be crucial in determining its future, Boulanger said.

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The program logged 1.4 million rides in 2019, but the number of trips and generated income was slashed in half when the pandemic hit, Hawaii News Now reported Monday.

It’s possible Biki will have to completely shut down, but Boulanger would like to see the program integrated into the city’s strategy for more eco-friendly transportation.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he has asked transportation officials to gather financial and operational data for the program “so my administration can evaluate the need and consider options to keep our city’s bikeshare system alive and well.”

Blue Planet Foundation, which is focused on accelerating clean energy usage, started a petition to show that Biki is essential.

Blue Planet Communications Director Leigh Anne Mayberry said the goal would be to get Biki recognized as public transportation then funded and included in that public transportation network.

“And so then we can encourage them to really implement a solution that would provide a long-term support and funding for Biki,” Mayberry said.

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Biki rider Patti Shannon said she would be sad to see the service end. She rides Biki bikes four to five times a week.

“It’s so convenient, you don’t worry about your bike ever getting stolen,” Shannon said. “I ride it to the beach, park it there, go for a swim … it’s such a great way to get around town.”

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