OKC Bike Rental Program Suspended Amid Security Woes

Thursday, May 31st 2012, 10:19 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City's new bicycle rental program has only been around for two weeks and it is already being suspended. A glitch with credit card machines and thefts have city leaders making changes to the program.

There are six rental locations throughout central Oklahoma City. A customer must use a credit card to release a bike from a rack and return it after a certain amount of time. But, for now, there are no bikes to rent. What went up May 18 is down for the time being.

"We've had a few glitches along the way," OKC Sustainability director Jennifer Gooden said.

There are two issues that have city officials beefing up security at rental locations from Bricktown to Midtown. Issue number one is theft. On Friday, May 25, two men were arrested on suspicion of stealing bikes from the city. They're accused of actually damaging the rack that lock the bikes in place.

5/25/2012 Related Story: Men Accused Of Stealing Bikes From OKC's New Sharing Program

"The second issue that we've had is a security glitch in the credit card processing software," Gooden said. "That's the reason we made the decision…to temporarily suspend the program."

That glitch affected the $500 fee that would be charged to a credit card if a bike was out more than 48 hours. That's long enough for the city to assume a bike had been stolen.

"They should have…tested it out a little before they just open it all up," Oklahoma City visitor Xavier Lewis said.

The city says so far it has received a tremendous response from the program, but there are still those who are betting on more problems to come.

"They shouldn't rent out bikes," Oklahoma City visitor Isaiah Fanning said. "That's like renting out movies at a Redbox. All [you've] got to do is get a prepaid card, throw some money on it, rent the movie…it's yours."

The city says adding cameras to rental locations is a possibility. The bikes will be down for at least two days. The city hopes the suspension will not last longer than a month.

Read more about OKC's bike share program.