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Denver B-cycle bike-sharing program to end in January

DENVER — The nonprofit owner and operator of Denver B-cycle, the city’s first shared bike-sharing system, will end operations on Jan. 30, but there could be a new collaboration with a different vendor partner, it was announced Thursday.

“We are faced with an aging system that needs to be replaced,” Denver Bike Sharing executive director Mike Pletsch said.

The contract with B-cycle ends at the end of January.

Pletsch said the shared economy has changed over the years, creating challenges for bike sharing to remain sustainable.

The Denver B-cycle system has relied on tourists and walk-up customers to subsidize ridership of Denver residents.

But that business has declined over the past two years. Denver Bike Sharing has sought to keep B-cycle costs at a minimum in an attempt to reduce the reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, but to no avail.

While not naming the competition, it’s likely from the numerous electronic scooters and dockless bikes that have inundated Denver in recent years.

“Denver Bike Sharing demonstrated the need for shared bicycles in Denver and set the stage for the new providers in this market,” Pletsch said.

“We owe a deep debt of gratitude to city leadership, including the mayor and council members, and the many corporate sponsors and community organizations who were with us along the way.”

The decision to end operations was made by the board of directors of Denver Bike Sharing. Denver B-cycle has had more than 5 million rides since it launched in April 2010.

Denver Bike Sharing did not say what the new collaboration might be or when it could launch.

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