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New York launches bike share, soon to be the biggest system in the nation

newyorkerThe long-awaited launch of Citibike in New York City finally arrived Monday mostly to cheers.

Seattle should be watching for a couple reasons. It is the biggest bike share system in the nation, and sure to set a lot of new standards. New York is a very crowded city with a lot of demand for every inch of city space. So if New York can find space for the bike share stations, Seattle surely can.

New York is also run by Alta Bike Share, the company that recently won the contract to launch and operate Puget Sound Bike Share. Alta’s launch of Citibike was not very smooth as delays in the supply chain led to delays in the launch. In Seattle, let’s hope that launching and maintaining such a large system in New York is a good sign that Alta has worked out a lot of those bugs.

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UPDATE: The Oregonian reports today about a petition alleging lots of unpaid wages to Capital Bikeshare employees.

Also, tip to big Seattle businesses: Look at all this amazing exposure for Citibank. Being a big sponsor of Puget Sound Bike Share would be an incredible marketing deal. PSBS is actively searching for a company to step up with a big enough sponsorship to gain naming rights, and that door could swing shut soon (some ideas: XBikes, Amazooms, Starbikes, LOLBIKES or I Can Has Bike Share, REI BIKE, Vulcancycle, QFCyles, COSTCOcycles, Velo Nordstrom, PEMCO Bike, F5 Bike, Velo ZymoGenetic…)

Anyway, here’s a video of the launch from StreetFilms:

Citbike Debuts in NYC from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

From the New York Times:

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5 responses to “New York launches bike share, soon to be the biggest system in the nation”

  1. Gary

    “Boeing Bikes”
    “Warehouser Bikes”
    “Bullitt Bikes”

  2. Matthew

    I wonder if PSBS has considered an alternative pricing strategy: provide an incentive (discount or credit) for bike share users returning bikes to stations at a higher elevation than where their trip started. Reward people who are making PSBS’s rebalancing job slightly easier.

    I still can’t believe there’s political will in this city to add a bunch of bike share docking stations on the sidewalk and in current vehicle parking spaces, but there’s not political will to add bike corrals for people who already ride their bikes. Maybe we can reach a compromise, where every PSBS station that goes up has to include some number of corral-style spaces for other bikes.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      1: We have yet to see if that political will is truly there. See this graph: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2013/05/bike-share-graph-gauging-public-opinion.html
      2: The biggest difference is that a bike corral is for people who ride bikes, but bike share is for everybody (this point needs to be front and center during public engagement efforts)
      3: I like your idea of installing bike parking along with stations! A great chance to reduce labor costs associated with installing bike parking.

      1. Matthew

        I’m not entirely clear on where we stand regarding the addition of bike docking stations in Seattle. I’ve seen maps of proposed locations, and of course Tom has linked in the past to artistic renderings of how the stations might look on the sidewalk, in the street, or in places like Pioneer Square. But have the various city agencies involved (SDOT? public utilities? city council?) actually signed off on any of these stations?

        My sense is that there almost HAS to be a stereotypical media battle pitting local residents concerned about lost parking against bike share proponents. Did we already fight that battle when I wasn’t paying attention?

    2. Bike corrals… and non-broken downtown cycling routes.

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