Bloomberg Blames Software Glitches
The city’s bike share pilot program, which was supposed to launch this summer, has been delayed until 2013, the Department of Transportation (DOT) confirmed in a Monday, Aug. 17 press release.
In his weekly radio appearance on WOR radio on Aug. 14, Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed glitches in the software being used by Alta Bicycle Share, who was selected to run the service, for the delays.
“Unfortunately there are software issues,” he stated. “The software doesn’t work. We’re not going to put it out until it does work.”
Bloomberg noted that Alta Bike Share has experienced delays starting the program in other cities as well.
Instead, the DOT announced that the system will now launch in March 2013 with “with an initial phase of 7,000 bikes implemented at 420 stations.”
The agency added that the program will continue to be sponsored by Citibank (thus the Citi Bike name). The city has a $41 million, five-year deal with the banking giant.
The system was expected to open in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Long Island City and Manhattan. Residents would be able to purchase daily, monthly or annual passes, and use the bikes to travel from one station to an other.
“New York City demands a world-class bike share system, and we need to ensure that Citi Bike launches as flawlessly as New Yorkers expect on Day One,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in the Aug. 17 statement. “The enthusiasm for this program continues to grow and we look forward to bringing this affordable new transportation option to New Yorkers without cost to taxpayers.”
City Comptroller John Liu, who had pushed the city to enact various safety measures before the program became active, stated on Aug. 17 that “[w]hile the delay may have been caused by poor planning and software problems, the city should take this opportunity to address the remaining safety issues associated with the plan in order to lower the number of accidents and fatalities that may result from the bike share program.”