New York bike share program delayed until March

ba8c97292439fdd12c98f9ab9248ab68

First it was supposed to launch in July. Then pushed back to September. Now New York City’s bike-share program won’t begin until March.

The program’s operator, Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, Oregon, hasn’t been able to perfect its software, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his weekly radio address Friday. Plans for a possible partial roll-out were scrapped because there is little point in starting the program in fall or winter, he said.

The first phase scheduled for March will begin with 7,000 bikes at 420 stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

“We are just not going to put out the system until it actually works,” Bloomberg said. “The most fascinating thing about this is that all those people that screamed, ‘We don’t want bicycles’ are now screaming, ‘Why aren’t they here?’”

The original start date, schedule for late July, came and went with no signs of the 10,000 Citigroup Inc.-branded two-wheelers that were to be docked at 600 solar-powered depots. Three years in the making, New York’s bike share will join similar programs in more than 200 cities from Boston to Barcelona.

The first phase scheduled for March will begin with 7,000 bikes at 420 stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. It will become the biggest in the U.S. once the roll-out is complete.

Private companies, not taxpayers, are behind the funding for the program: Citigroup, the New York-based bank, is contributing $41 million to be the chief sponsor and namesake of the program, and MasterCard Inc. is behind the $6.5 million payment system. Profits are to be split with the city.

The delay won’t affect the sponsorship relationships, transportation officials said in a statement.

“New York City demands a world-class bike-share system, and we need to ensure that Citi Bike launches as flawlessly as New Yorkers expect on Day One,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in the statement.

Alta operates bike shares in Washington and Boston. An e- mailed request for details on the software delays wasn’t returned, and there was no way to leave a voice message at the number listed on the company’s website.

Rollouts of similar Alta-operated programs in Chicago and Chattanooga, Tennessee, have also been delayed, according to local news reports.

Transportation Alternatives, a New York-based advocacy group for cyclists, pedestrians and mass transit, said it supported the decision to delay the start date.

“While we are eager for Citi Bike to begin, it’s more crucial that this groundbreaking transit system be launched correctly, not quickly,” Paul Steely White, the group’s executive director, said in an e-mailed statement. “In time, the circumstances of Citi Bike’s launch will be all but forgotten and we’ll all be enjoying a city made safer, healthier and less congested.”

Since 2007, New York has added more than 290 miles to the now more than 700-mile-long bike-lane system, part of Bloomberg’s efforts to tackle two of the city’s most persistent problems: congested roads and ever-widening waistlines.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.