Update March 22, 2014- The cost for a Citi Bike will likely go up to cover the deficit run by the inept operators from Oregon. The WSJ reports.
March 20, 2014- BatteryPark.TV has been the most vocal supporter of the concept of bike sharing. That is why this story is so disturbing.
Despite huge demand, the inept bungling buffoons who run the Citi Bike program are losing money. The WSJ reports, “Citi Bike has been forced to contend with a number of costly issues, including damage to equipment during superstorm Sandy, software glitches and a difficult 2013-14 winter that discouraged ridership. But advocates said Alta Bicycle Share, the company that operates Citi Bike through a subsidiary, also hadn’t done enough to improve the system and adapt to problems as they arose.
“The bottom line is that New Yorkers deserve better,” said Caroline Samponaro, a senior director at Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit advocacy group. “The arc should be improving. All signs should be…that the demand, the usage, the attention is leading that arc up.”
Representatives for Alta didn’t respond to requests for comment.
One issue is that Citi Bike has proved more popular than expected with annual users who generate comparatively little revenue. Some 99,000 people pay $95 a year plus tax to be able to use the bikes for 45 minutes at a time.
The potential for far greater revenue, however, is with short-term users. Many of those were expected to be tourists, and they haven’t used the bikes nearly as much as officials had anticipated, people familiar with the matter said.”