In a literal clash of transportation modes – that has reportedly occurred at least once before – a Maryland Transit Administration bus knocked down the Bikeshare station at the University of Maryland Baltimore Thursday.
“Luckily no one was harmed in the accident,” said the post on the Facebook page for Corps Logistics, the subcontractor that operates the program for the city and maintains the bikes for the city.
Photos show the toppled kiosk, located on Baltimore Street, disconnected at its base and resting at a 45-degree angle above pieces of broken glass. Several of the docking stations appear damaged as well and a bike looked to have been dislodged.
“This station will be closed until further notice,” the post reads. “Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
A representative from the company could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for the MTA said he would look into the report.
Bus Plowed Into it
According to Liz Cornish, executive director of the advocacy group Bikemore, the same thing happened at the same spot three or four months ago.
“I was at a meeting of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and I saw security footage of an MTA bus hitting that same station,” Cornish said.
In the earlier incident, Cornish said, “some mechanical hatch” or other apparatus on the bus was open and struck the station.
“This time it looks like the front of the bus just plowed right into it,” she said, adding that another Bikemore staffer recalls a possible third indent at this spot.
“I don’t know why this is happening,” Cornish said.
The station is located on on the sidewalk on the south side of Baltimore Street, just west of Greene Street.
Protecting the Program
The damage comes amid reports that Bikeshare, which launched last fall, has struggled with thefts and lack of returns. The group’s policy director, Jed Weeks, said yesterday he had no additional updates on those issues at the moment.
“We’re aware it’s a big problem right now and know there are fixes in the works,” he said, referring a reporter to Corps Logistics.
Corps Logistics’ Facebook page, meanwhile, suggests the company is enlisting help from law enforcement to combat the problem.
On Tuesday, according to a post the company linked to from the Baltimore Police Department, the city’s Marine Unit and Underwater Recovery Team fished a Bikeshare bike out of the Inner Harbor.
“They conducted successful dives today for a bike that was witnessed being thrown into the Inner Harbor,” the company posted.
Among the photos the Recovery Team posted on its Facebook page was one showing the Bikeshare bike – and two other bikes and a skateboard they found down there as well.