New Yorkers who have been looking forward to the spring 2013 launch date of the long-awaited Citi Bike program could be in for some disappointing news. The New York Times reports that Citi Bike’s Brooklyn Navy Yard storage facility faced extensive flooding after Hurricane Sandy, which damaged bikes as well as electric docking equipment. As of yet, it’s unclear whether the damage will be enough to push the program’s expected start date back even further.
Many other cities in the world boast bike sharing programs. China was first, with the Hangzhou Public Bicycle program, followed by Paris’ Vélib program, which launched popularity of bike share programs in London, Germany, Finland, Greece and the world over. New York was so very close to finally getting our own bike share into play, until Sandy struck.
According to the Times, several feet of water flooded building 293, where Citi Bike’s equipment and bicycles are stored on the Brooklyn waterfront. The extent of the damage is still waiting to be assessed, but the real concern is not with the bikes, which are cleanable, but instead with the docking stations. Each has electrical components that check in the bikes and keep track of users, a sophisticated setup which could very well be compromised while under several feet of water.
The launch of Citi Bike was already pushed back once from the promised launch last August so we’re really hoping that the damage was not too serious and the launch can take place in March 2013 as scheduled.
Via The NY Times