Biki, urban Honolulu’s bike-share program, faces a steep, perilous climb as it tries to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The system’s nonprofit parent organization announced Monday that Biki will reduce service by as much 60% in the coming months. 

Even after the cost-saving measures are enacted, it might not be enough to keep Oahu’s first major bike-share afloat, according to that nonprofit, Bikeshare Hawaii. The slowdown of tourist, education and commercial activity in Oahu cut deeply into Biki’s trips and fares, similar to TheBus and the Handi-Van. 

BIKI bike rack and bikes get blessed located on Hotel street fronting the State Art Museum.
Biki bikes for rent at racks on Hotel Street fronting the Hawaii State Art Museum. The popular system has seen revenues plunge by nearly half during the pandemic. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The bike-share program has seen revenues plunge by nearly half during the past 13 months, and forecasts show that COVID will cause a continued slump through 2021, according to Bikeshare Hawaii Executive Director Todd Boulanger. The cuts are needed to give Biki a chance to recover, he added. 

“This move will conserve Biki’s remaining resources as Honolulu anxiously waits for commercial, tourist, and office activity to fully recover in the next couple of years,” Boulanger said in a statement Monday.

Six of Biki’s approximately 136 stations will be removed initially, from a coverage area that roughly extends from Iwilei to Diamond Head. Those six stations are located in Kalihi, downtown, Kakaako, Waikiki, Makiki and Kaimuki.

Bike-share programs across the country have been hit hard in the past year. Of some 170 cities that had either a bike-share or e-scooter system prior to the pandemic, some 46 have been left without service, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

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