It’s no secret that Citi Bike is strapped for cash, and now, a new investor may provide the capital it needs to continue running and complete planned extensions into new neighborhoods. REQX Ventures, formed by Related Companies and the high-end fitness chain Equinox, its subsidiary, has outlined a deal to invest in the bike share program.
Details about how much money REQX would put up, and for what share of Citi Bike, are scant. Alta Bike Share, the company that operates the program, wants to raise the price of a yearly membership from $95 to $140, but the city is requiring that Citi Bike expand before considering a hike. REQX’s money could help fund that expansion.
The program has about 6,200 bikes in Manhattan below Central Park and in parts of Brooklyn. Alta has said expanding to 10,000 bikes might require $14 million. Citi Bike launched on May 27 last year and has more than 100,000 annual members.
Alta said in a statement that it “is deep into discussions with an outside investor and the New York City DOT about how to build on the success of the Citi Bike system through expansion of the system footprint and other improvements.”