ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Coronavirus has cut off street curb scooter and bicycle rentals in Albuquerque, but now the two programs may not return in the same way many people have known them in the city.

The company responsible for the bright orange scooters, “Spin”, has pulled all two-wheeler rentals off the street. Meanwhile, the contract for the “Pace” bike sharing program ends in a few months and regional transportation planners are already expecting a change.

“Investors don’t know what the best fads are in the long run, but what remains true is micro-mobility, (that is) sharing bikes, scooters, pedal bikes. are essential for this first and last mile connection, ”said Jacob Wolff. , a transport planner for the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG.)

Wolff says MRCOG transit planners are already trying to formulate the best possible option for a “micro-mobility” program for the Albuquerque metro area in the near future, as COVID-19 has put the programs on. Albuquerque scooter and bike share at an indefinite break.

In response to the pandemic, several bike and scooter-sharing companies across the United States have halted service or withdrew from mid-sized cities like Albuquerque. According to city officials, Spin “ceased operations” in Albuquerque in April in response to COVID-19.

However, Albuquerque was also nearing the end of its one-year pilot program with Spin. The company‘s license to operate in the city expires at the end of May. A spokeswoman for the City of Albuquerque Planning and Zoning Department said Tuesday that Spin had not renewed its license to operate in the city.

In response to KRQE News 13’s investigation into the status of scooters in Albuquerque on Tuesday, the city said it “is looking to improve the shared active transportation program over the coming year” and “is working on them. next steps to come “.

Regarding street bike rental, “Pace” Bike Sharing is under contract with the Intermediate Region Council of Governments to operate in Albuquerque until September 2020. The company behind Pace, “Zagster,” temporarily stopped the rental of bicycles.

The MRCOG said that by revamping its transportation rental program, the agency had considered more comprehensive rental programs that could include bicycles, e-bikes, and other types of scooters.

“Instead of having private investors and developers setting the tone for these personal transportation options, it’s really great that we as a region can make a decision that best serves everyone here,” Wolff said.

Zagster has yet to say whether its “Pace” bikes will be available for hire again in Albuquerque before the contract ends in September. Spin did not return KRQE News 13’s request for comment on Tuesday.

Last summer, Albuquerque had about 450 Spin scooters on the streets. Over the past few years, Pace has had up to 250 bikes for rent at 50 different stations.

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