Launch of Chicago Bike Share Delayed Again; Are Citi Bike's Problems to Blame?

It turns out New York isn't the only large city struggling to get its heralded bike-share system off the ground. Chicago's rush to launch Divvy has hit a snag, delaying the program's launch by two weeks.

After a year delay, Chicago's Divvy bike-share system was supposed to launch with a 'big bang' this month. Now comes word that the big bang is more of a big dud. "Divvy was supposed to open for business Friday, capping off Bike to Work Week," reports Tim Akimoff. "But a statement posted on the program’s Tumblr site on Tuesday afternoon said the launch was being pushed back 'to ensure we have the necessary time to test stations and ensure the system is fully functioning.'” Apparently a late arriving part is at least partly to blame for the delay in constructing the system's docking stations. 

It's unclear if the delay for testing is related to the technical problems plaguing New York's bike-share program; both systems share the same operator, supplier, and buggy software system. Although Citi Bike has proven incredibly popular since launching at the end of May (annual memberships exceed 36,000), the WNYC Data News Team estimates that at any one time a tenth of the system's docking stations are malfunctioning.   

"In fact, it turns out the nation's largest bike share is beta testing the entire software system," write Andrea Bernstein, Steven Melendez and Kate Hinds. "Other than in Chattanooga, Tennessee (31 stations, 300 bikes), the software system used in New York has never been used anywhere. Even in Chattanooga, where the system launch was also delayed, the system isn't perfect, ten months after that city's launch."

"New York's bikes look just like the ones in Boston, Minneapolis, Washington, DC, and London. Those cities -- which used the same software developed for Montreal, North America's first large-scale bike share -- did not experience the kind of software issues New York is having," they add. "But New York's bike share underwent a brain transplant before it came to the Big Apple."

Full Story: Chicago Bike Share Also Hitting Snags

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Book cover of Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!