Remember when Citi Bikes, the citywide biking share system that was going to Change Everything, was going to be launched in July? And then it got pushed back to August because of software issues?
Well August is here now, and there still aren’t any motherfucking bikes. What’s going on?
“There are software issues. The software doesn’t work,” Mayor Mike Bloomberg said on his radio station, WOR, this morning, before adding, “Duh. Until it works, we’re not going to put it out.”
It does seem a little complicated, since the project will add 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations throughout the city. (Washington, DC’s bike sharing system, to compare, has 2,000 bikes. Boston has 600.)
Bloomberg explained the holdup, citing the “very advanced technology” the system, supplied by Alta Bicycle Share, is using, and the complications that come with that.
“The dock, each place you’re sticking a bike is a computer. Everything needs to work perfectly,” he told listeners. “They run on solar power so you don’t need a lot of wiring and there’s no burden on the electrical system. There’s an enormous number of transactions that you have to communicate in real time to central computers.”
After Bloomberg’s radio appearance, the New York City Department of Transportation sent out a press release and citibikenyc.com updated its website, both promising that the Citi Bike system will launch in March 2013 with 7,000 bikes implemented at 420 stations. After the initial launch, the system will quickly expand by 3,000 bikes and 180 stations.
“NYCBS (New York City Bike Share) continues to be committed to bringing the largest and best solar-powered bike share system in the world to New York City,” the founder and president of Alta Bicycle Share, Alison Cohen, said in the press release. “We recognize that New Yorkers are eagerly anticipating the launch of the bike share system and we will deliver on that promise.”
Citi gave $41 million to sponsor the initiative. According to the website, an annual membership will cost $95.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 17, 2012