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Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. and the City of Oklahoma City are proud to announce that the Spokies Bike Share program is up and running again! We corrected some software and credit card processing issues and welded the locks to the bikes so they can no longer be stripped from the docks and stolen.
After only two weeks in operation, all bikes belonging to the Spokies Bike Share program have been removed from the racks. Citing problems with the credit card software and a design flaw in the bikes that has “led to incidents of theft and vandalism”, the Oklahoma City Office of Sustainability and Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. made the decision to temporarily suspend the program. The software and bike fixes can be expected to take up to three weeks to complete at which time they hope to restore the program.
We had reported on the theft of two bicycles last week. However, it appears that it is the software issue that is of the most concern. Apparently the bug affects when users are charged the $500 deposit after a bicycle is assumed to be stolen. By design, that charge is to be charged to the account after 48 hours.
According to Office of Sustainability Director, Jennifer Gooden, “As with any new program, we anticipated a few issues with the launch of Spokies, but we did not know it would be to this great of an extent. This approach will allow us to focus on addressing the software issue, return to full operation quickly, and ensure all Spokies members are completely happy with the service.”
People who had already signed up for a monthly or annual membership will be granted a free month of membership after the program resumes.
You can read the press release from Spokies here and below is a report from News 9:
I am very confused as to what exactly their plan was for the highly recognizable therefore difficult to sell bicycles, but two men have been arrested for stealing bicycles from the new Spokies bike share program:
On May 22, police were called to the WestTown Day Shelter near N.W. 3rd Street and N. Virginia Avenue. A worker there reported Fred Wren, 20, and Anthony Grove, 26, possessed bikes belonging to the Spokies program. When police checked the serial numbers, they discovered the bikes had not been rented and should have been sitting at a kiosk outside the downtown Oklahoma City library.
Police observed damage to the two bicycles where they’d been forcibly removed from the rack. Officers arrested Wren and Grove and booked them into the Oklahoma County jail on one complaint each of receiving or concealing stolen property.
The OKC bike sharing program, Spokies, has announced where the first six kiosk locations will be placed. Spread out from Midtown to Deep Deuce to Bricktown and the Convention Center, the system seems well placed to provide easy transportation throughout downtown.
Memberships will range from $75 dollars for a full year to $5 for a day. Rentals are free for the first 30 minutes and $2 for each half-hour after that. You can get full details at their website, http://spokiesokc.com or by following them @SpokiesOKC on twitter.
I am really excited to see this system kick off and I congratulate them on planning the system well.
Bike sharing programs are the rage around the world and across the nation (the photo above is of the DC bike share program, Capital Bikeshare). Oklahoma City first announced the program back in August and additional details were announced yesterday at the Oklahoma City Council meeting. According to NewsOK, the program has been given an official name of “Spokies” and will consist of 95 bicycles (up from 90) placed at six stations in the downtown Oklahoma City area. The money for the bikes and stations is coming from a federal grant.
While the locations haven’t been fixed, NewsOK is giving some initial indications of how the stations will be scattered:
The kiosks will have locking bike stands attached. The locations aren’t firm, but the idea is to have them within easy cycling of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Bricktown, Midtown, Chesapeake Energy Arena and the adjacent Cox Convention Center, Deep Deuce, City Hall and the Civic Center Music Hall.