Some disappointing news for New York bikers today – the highly-anticipated CitiBike bike share program that was supposed to be opening this month has now officially been delayed until next year. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement this morning, stating that the launch is now scheduled for the spring of 2013. The reason? Problems with the rental software.
Speaking on his radio show, Mayor Bloomberg said: “Unfortunately there are software issues. It doesn’t work. Duh. Until it works, we’re not going to put it out. We did think there would be a possibility we would have bikes on the streets this summer.”
When asked when he thought the program would officially begin, he added: “We think…this spring. Hopefully the software will work by then.”
The problematic software is crucial for the bike share program as it is used within the docking stations. It is being organized by bike share operator Alta, but it seems that it is not yet ready for implementation. Despite the fact that Alta’s contact was meant to have at least 1,000 bikes on the street on or before July 31, it seems they will suffer no penalties for the delay.
Bloomberg added: “It’s all private money. And the people who’ve put up the money, particularly the two big sponsors, Citibank and MasterCard, are fully aware of what’s going on and they have been as supportive as you possibly can be. The city loses because we don’t have bicycles, but the city doesn’t lose any money or anything, and we all want to get it done as quickly — but you’ve got to do it right.”
Here’s hoping we’ll see those blue bikes on the streets next year then!