Published on November 6th, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan0
Buyout of Alta Bike Share Means Big Expansion of Citi Bike & Other Bikeshares
November 6th, 2014 by Cynthia Shahan
The buyout of Alta Bike Share, which operates New York City’s Citi Bike program, is essentially a done deal. It follows our report in August about the sizable pending financial deal withREQX Ventures, which is funding additional investments in the Citi Bike system to increase the number of bikes (close to twice as many as now, from 6,200 to 12,000).REQX Ventures is an affiliate of the Related Companies and its Equinox unit. It has agreed to terms on the purchase. The additional funds fromREQX will resolve persistent problems with Citi Bike’s supply chain, software system, and operations (as well as similar issues throughout the country’s bikeshare systems).
As in our previous story, Citi Bike To Expand To Queens, North Manhattan, Williamsburg, & More, the expansion is projected to reach up to 145th Street in Manhattan and into western Queens and another ring of Brooklyn neighborhoods adjacent to the current service area. 2014 showed no change for bikes — no expansion — so this large growth is welcomed.
Alta-operated systems are also found in Chicago, DC, Boston, and San Francisco. Bike supply problems the company had been unable to solve will be positively addressed elsewhere as well as in New York. It is also thought that the buyout should break up the stagnation that holds back expansion plans in those cities and allow system launches in Baltimore, Portland, and Vancouver to progress.
Planetsave.com has pointed out a few ways that bikeshares improve the streets. Through increasing, bicycle commute rates dramatically, bike-shares keep the air cleaner and people healthier, “but new research has also found that bike-sharing programs improve street life.”
“Bike share stations are ideal triangulators,” David M. Nelson and David Leyzerovsky of the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) write. “They’re natural conversation-starters, attract a stream of diverse users at all times of day & night, and act as casual landmarks that concentrate activity. Presented with this entirely new element of public infrastructure, resourceful citizens are re-purposing stations for convenience and fun.”
Bikeshares are presently even prescriptions. Yes, doctors are prescribing bicycling and handing out bikeshare vouchers: The program, “Prescribe-a-Bike,” allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to prescribe low-income patients with a yearlong membership to Hubway, a bikeshare program, for only $5.