By Tyler Falk
Posting in Cities
Two of the soon-to-be largest bikeshare systems in the United States are experiencing delays.
As Chicago takes aim at becoming the "bike friendliest city in the country" by adding miles of new protected bike lanes, the centerpiece of the city's new bike infrastructure is seeing delays.
A new bikeshare system, complete with 3,000 bikes in 300 docking stations, that was expected to be unvieled this summer is now being put off until next spring.
“This is a complicated infrastructure project that involves a great deal of planning, engineering and public outreach," Chicago Transportation Department spokesman Peter Scales, told the Chicago Sun-Times. We decided it was better to take the extra time to get it right. ... Another benefit is that we will have constructed many more miles of dedicated bike lanes by next spring, which will help to increase participation.”
But, as Dana Rubinstein points out, it's not the only bikeshare to see delays. New York's 10,000-bike system is experiencing "software" problems, with few details. Citi Bike was expected to open last spring. In Chattanooga, a bikeshare that was supposed to open in April, eventually opened late last month because of similar software issues.
All three cities have contracts with Alta Bicycle Share.
When up and running, New York and Chicago will have the two largest bikeshare systems in the United States.
Photo: Citi Bike
(h/t Capital New York)
Aug 8, 2012
I'd like to know who is paying for this and at what cost ? What happens if a bike ends up missing, stolen, or damaged. Riding a bike in downtown Chicago or New York ? With the pedistrian and car traffic might be difficult to get around. Is there a fee to pay to use these ? This is starting to sound like another failed green project like Solyndra. Most solar companies have already failed and gone into bankruptcy. It is all in the details. In Milwaukee they spent $165,000 to put bike racks on the front of the buses and so half the year you are guaranteed that they will not be used and then the rest of the year how many people will be biking and then decide to ride the bus ? Poor planning. Easy to spend other people's money isn't it !
Don't get me wrong, I "kind of" like the premise, but think it would be better suited to tourist destinations like Florida. As a fairly frequent visitor to the big apple, I would be terrified to actually try to ride a bike through that if I wasn't getting paid for it (business plan problem?). Honestly? - I think the company needs to be looked at, and where this funding is coming from. The business model stinks if these places are where they are concentrating. Where is the funding coming from? Smells like cronyism, doomed to fail. But workable likely in mid-sized cities and tourist zones.
As with most green projects, it is all about location. Some solutions just do not work in some areas for a variety of reasons. Like solar PV in Seattle is ridiculous because of the near constant cloud cover. Other locations are perfect fits. The one size fits all mentality is a killer for the people blindly trying to fit the square peg in the round hole.