NYC bike share program delayed…again


| brennison@queenscourier.com |

File photo
File photo

The city's bike share program is delayed again, with a new launch date set for March.

A month after the mayor announced a delay in the city’s new bike share program, another postponement will push the roll out back to next spring.

Originally planned for a late July, early August launch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today on his weekly radio show with John Gambling the target date for the Citi Bike program is now March.

“Unfortunately there are software issues,” Bloomberg said. “Until it works we’re not going to put it out.”

Software problems were also responsible for the original delay.

“While we are eager for Citi Bike to begin, it’s more crucial that this ground-breaking transit system be launched correctly, not quickly,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.

Manufacturing and testing continue on the necessary software to operate the system, the DOT said.

Seven thousand bikes are planned at 420 stations throughout the five boroughs when the program finally commences. Riders will be able to rent bikes short term for a small fee or with a $95 annual membership. In Queens, there will be 10 stations in Long Island City with the other stations scattered throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“While the delay may have been caused by poor planning and software problems, the city should take this opportunity to address the remaining safety issues associated with the plan in order to lower the number of accidents and fatalities that may result from the Bike Share program,”said a spokesperson for Comptroller John Liu.

In June, the comptroller released a report endorsing safety-enhancing efforts to avoid accidents and lawsuits.

Citi’s $41 million sponsorship of the program will not be affected by the delay, the mayor said.

In a recent Quinnipiac poll 74 percent of voters thought the bike share program was a good idea.