Citibike’s Problems May Be About Alta-tude

A recent article in City & State illustrates Citibike has been a success but may be mismanaged by it’s system creator, Alta. Right-of-Way and Safe Streets advocate Charlie Komanoff pointed out this article really hits the mark: “Bravo! Once again Ms. Gelinas drills to the heart of the issue: “The problem [with Citi Bike] has little to do with
bicycles. The problem is confusion over Citi Bike’s public social goals
versus its private profit-making goals.” Gelinas’s reportage continues to set the standard for civic journalism.

Citi Bike’s purpose shouldn’t be to make a profit, but to bring workers into New York so their employers make money.

By: Nicole Gelinas
April 6th, 2014


The problem with the program is that the company that runs Citi Bike— Alta Bicycle Share—is a small five-year-old company with the challenges that come with being a small five-year-old company. Alta runs other American bike-share systems, including Boston and Washington. But Alta has never run a system of New York’s scale and demand. There is no such system in America. Chicago, which comes closest, does less than a tenth of New York’s annual rides with the same number of bikes and more docks. Alta has found itself overwhelmed—having to spend more than it expected in “redistributing” bikes to meet time-of-day demand.

Ride on: here.

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