Bike-Share Program Delays Launch From July to March 2013
New York City's Department of Transportation announced Friday that Citi Bike, the expansive bike-share program sponsored by Citigroup, would launch next March with 7,000 bikes in 420 docking stations across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The announcement comes weeks after the bike-share program was originally set to launch in July and then expand to 10,000 bikes in 600 docking stations by the summer of 2013.
After weeks of speculation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed Friday on his weekly radio show that software problems have caused the program's delay.
"The people [Citigroup] who are putting up the money [for this program] understand. They're probably not any happier about it than the people who want to rent the bikes or you and me or everybody else. But that's the real world," Bloomberg said of the delay. "We are just not going to put out the system until it actually works."
Solar-powered arrays and circuit boards play a role in the program's faulted software as part of the wireless kiosks, which are attached to docking stations for users to submit payment.
"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," Alison Cohen, president of Alta Bicycle Share which is overseeing Citi Bike, said in a statement Friday. "We recognize that New Yorkers are eagerly anticipating the launch of the new bike-share system and we will deliver on that promise."
After its release in March, efforts to expand the program to include 10,000 bikes will be made, but no specific date has been set.