Saturday, October 25, 2014

What the CitiBike Deal Will Mean for Riders

A deal to prop up the CitiBike system (as well as bike share systems in Boston, Washington DC, Toronto, Melbourne and other cities) was supposedly signed yesterday but there has been no official announcement yet, nor has there ever been any acknowledgement of what was on the table.

Here is a compilation of the improvements CitiBike may be making now that REQX Ventures has purchased CitiBike's operator, Alta Bicycle Share:

Deal takes shape to bolster Citi Bike - Capital New York (July 2)

- install new software
- stabilize system's finances
- perhaps expand it

Citi Bike Poised for a Big Infusion of Cash (July 23)

- expand to upper Manhattan and Queens and further into Brooklyn
- double bikes from 6200 to 12,000
- improve software

De Blasio Deal Could Give Bike Sharing in New York a New Imprint (July 27)

- address customer service issues
expected to begin next year and be completed by the end of 2017.
- extend into Queens, move deeper east into Brooklyn and farther north in Manhattan

There is no guarantee all of the above will happen but hopefully there will be some significant improvements, including better rebalancing so Hell's Kitchen CitiBike stations will no longer be devoid of bikes during rush hours.

These improvements will come at a cost - the price of an annual membership is reportedly going up from $95 - possibly to $140 or more.

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