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
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.