Delayed NYC Bike-Share Gets New Launch Date

After weeks of speculation after its supposed July launch date came and went, this morning Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that New York's much anticipated bike-share program will be seen on city streets beginning next March.
August 17, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Matt Flegenheimer and Michael M. Grynbaum report on the postponement of New York's Citi Bike bicycle-share program due to software problems. The program, which will be the country's largest, is to be constructed and operated by Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share, who have encountered delays in launching bike-share programs in other cities. 

"Some have attributed the software glitches to an ongoing dispute between Public Bike System Company, Alta's Montreal-based partner, and 8D Technologies, which supplied the software for successful programs in Boston and Washington, among other cities," write Flegenheimer and Grynbaum. "Public Bike Share Company has severed ties with 8D, and the installation of new technology in cities like New York and Chicago has likely had a role in the delays, said Isabelle Bettez, the chief executive of 8D."

"What was sold to these cities is not what, at the end of the day, will be installed," Ms. Bettez said in an interview last week. "The technological solution is a big, big part of the system, not the one that you necessarily see. You see it when it doesn't work."

Although cycling advocate Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, is disappointed by the delay, he believes it's more important "for the bike share to 'be launched correctly, not quickly.'"

 

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Published on Friday, August 17, 2012 in The New York Times
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