With much fanfare, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced in December that the second largest bike-share system in the United States would debut in downtown Los Angeles in April of 2013. Two months after the supposed launch of the system, no stations have been installed, no reason has been given for the delay, and no update to the project's timeline has been provided. Damien Newton investigates.
"While the world laughs at the over the top, and really really over the top, media coverage of CitiBike, news reports on the West Coast have been more subdued about Bike Nation [the novice bike share company that was supposed to fund and operate L.A.'s system]. In fact, the only recent coverage in a mainstream publication is an editorial in today’s Daily News, which admits that it doesn’t know much about CitiBike, bike share or Bike Nation."
"But while we wait for news from Bike Nation, advocacy website Bikeshare.com published a piece today that offers one explanation for the delay: the advertising model that Bike Nation is counting on is not allowed in the city’s ordinance allowing bike share kiosks. In short, the ordinance disallows advertising on the kiosks that will hold the Bike Nation bikes."
"Officials with the city and with Bike Nation have yet to comment on the story, or what the ordinance means for bike sharing in Los Angeles," adds Newton.