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An electric-assist bike that is part of the Bulldog Bike Share program posed outside the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability in Athens, Georgia, on Aug. 19, 2019. Gotcha has suspended the program at UGA due to COVID-19 and the winter weather. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, https://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

The University of Georgia Bulldog Bike Share service was suspended until further notice due to COVID-19 on Oct. 30.

According to UGA Transportation & Parking Services, Gotcha’s decision to halt services was the result of COVID-19 concerns and upcoming winter weather. The service, announced in 2019,  was available on UGA’s campus for less than a year. 

“Gotcha apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and greatly appreciates the support of their riders,” according to the UGA Transportation & Parking Services website. Riders who had a yearly subscription will be refunded for their unused rides.

UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor said that UGA is currently exploring alternative bike share services.

Gotcha Chief Marketing Officer Anne Morgan said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business negatively, which influenced the program’s suspension.

“Gotcha is focusing resources on areas where we can better serve riders over the winter months. We are very grateful to our riders and our hardworking staff in Athens and hope to be back on the road next year,” Morgan said.

A partnership between Gotcha Mobility and the UGA Office of Sustainability, the Bulldog Bike Share allowed students to rent electric bicycles for a monthly or yearly fee as well as a base fee of $2 plus 10 cents per minute. 

The bike rental program was accessed through the Gotcha app on Android or iOS. Although the program was open to the public, UGA students were offered special rates.

According to its website, Gotcha provides other sustainable transportation services such as electric scooters and has locations in over 20 states.

This year Gotcha offered free rides to polling locations, but the bikes were pulled less than a week before Election Day.