Photo: Ed Stannard / Hearst Connecticut Media /
NEW HAVEN — The Bike New Haven program has been suspended for the forseeable future, officials said in a message to riders Tuesday.
Bike New Haven officials previously announced plans to remove all bicycles made available through the program on Jan. 1, as organization sought to transition from one operating system, Noa, to another, TapBike.
That effort has been delayed indefinitely by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our intention was to improve service and provide frequently requested features. We were working diligently to prepare the system to be relaunched, and we were looking forward to introducing the final product. Unfortunately, given the current instability created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the delay has been prolonged indefinitely,” officials said.
The company will be refunding those with active subscriptions to the service and deactivating those accounts, according to the statement. Those needing further assistance were asked to contact [email protected]
Lourdes Martinez, a staffer with PG3 Global Management, said that in addition to the technical barrier, “relaunching at this time is not prudent considering current circumstances around the globe.”
“P3GM’s JerseyBike system is still operating but has seen a 76% decline in utilization since the middle of March. Across the industry, micromobility vendors have seen declines in utilization and revenue between 40% and 100%, as reported by the New York Times and others,” Martinez said in a statement. “In New Haven, advertising contracts that were lined up have been canceled as outside partners focus on preserving resources due to the current economic uncertainty.”
In addition to the required shift to a new operating system, economic conditions would have to improve for the Bike New Haven effort to relaunch, Martinez said. Relaunching with the original operating system is not possible, she said.
City Transportation, Traffic & Parking Director Doug Hausladen said he hoped the program would return if the city moves past the pandemic.
“The Bike New Haven program is, among hundreds of other city programs, being monitored as the City’s response to COVID continues,” Hausladen said in an email. “As this is a no-cost program to the city … it is our hope that the Bike New Haven program will be able to return should the public health emergency allow safe operations of the contracted service to resume.”