A new investor could be stepping in to help Citi Bike expand to more neighborhoods. The Wall Street Journal reports that Alta Bicycle Share, which runs the bike sharing program, has been in talks with REQX Ventures, an investment firm formed by the Equinox fitness center chain and its parent company Related, about an investment agreement. Assuming the two companies can come to a deal, Citi Bike could finally secure the money it needs to spread out to new areas with more bikes and docking stations. According to sources close to the negotiations, the funds could also go towards improving Citi Bike’s software.
Alta has expressed its interest in expanding its fleet with 10,000 new Citi Bikes, but needs $14 million in funding to do so. To help generate the necessary revenue, Alta has asked NYC’s Transportation Department for permission to raise the price of annual memberships from $95 to $140. Thus far, city officials have declined Alta’s request until the company brings more bikes and docking stations to more neighborhoods.
Now Alta has released a statement saying it is deep in discussions with outside investors as well as the NYCDOT to help build on the success of the Citi Bike program. If Alta’s deal with REQX Ventures goes through, the Citi Bike program could finally have the money in needs to expand. The expansion could include Brooklyn neighborhoods including Greenpoint and Park Slope and Astoria and Sunnyside in Queens.