Jersey City Joins NYC's Citi Bikes; Neighbors Create Separate System
As reported by Matt Chaban in the New York Times, despite February announcements to share 800 bicycles between the three New Jersey cities of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken by June, the start date has passed without any bicycles materializing.
Since February, "Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City, decided that he would rather share bikes with New York than with his New Jersey neighbors. The three Hudson County municipalities ultimately went in two separate directions, with Hoboken and Weehawken planning to roll out 300 bikes between them by the end of November and Jersey City hoping to bring 500 to 600 Citi Bikes to its streets by next year."
Fulop's priorities lay in serving the residents of Heights and Greenville, neighborhoods with poor access to the PATH. Fulop sees the Citi Bike program in Jersey City as a uniform way to get residents to the train, and then once in New York City, to their final destination.
With Alta Bike Share's technical and financial problems, Weehawken and Hoboken opted for the smartphone application oriented Next Bike System, which, "cost the operator about $1,200 each; by comparison, Citi Bikes cost about $5,000 apiece, in part because of the need for the docking stations. The difference in price means that while Hoboken and Weehawken can let those running their shared system bear the costs, Jersey City may have to offer subsidies if it cannot find enough sponsors to make its program viable."