Delayed Bike-Share Program Needs Money, Might Not Launch Until Spring

The local Citi Bike program once planned to launch 1,000 of its 10,000 rentals today, but a software problem has kept them off the street entirely. Instead, the company behind the program, Alta, has asked initial sponsor Citibank for $3.5 million of the $41 million promised on an accelerated timetable, even if their goals aren’t met, the New York Post reports. And if the hold-up lasts longer, the whole thing may have to wait until next year: “No one wants to do this in November,” said an anonymous insider. “You’d be looking at spring [2013].”

That is inaccurate,” said a Department of Transportation spokesperson, failing to offer much reassurance for eager renters. “While we can’t get into details, we are working on a plan to launch the system.”

The organization Transportation Alternatives is hosting a party “celebrating the launch of Citi Bike” on August 23, leading some to get excited about a late-summer takeoff, but the group confirmed to Daily Intel that the party was planned before the delay: “We don’t know when the bike share program will launch.” So everyone is the dark, but only Citibank is paying.

Bike-Share Program Might Not Launch Until Spring