We’ve griped before about the city government’s dogged refusal to funnel any public funding to Citi Bike, and now, City Hall wants a $1 million payout from the cash-strapped program. As the Wall Street Journal points out, the city’s contract with Alta Bicycle Share, the company that operates Citi Bike, stipulates a payment from Alta to make up for lost parking revenue, because some docking stations occupy former parking spots.
Alta is attempting to reduce or eliminate the bill in contract negotiations. $1 million would account for 10 percent of Citi Bike’s revenue from yearly passes. “This is highly unusual in the bike-sharing world and I’m not aware of other municipalities doing this,” Paul DeMaio, who runs a portion of D.C.’s bike share, told WSJ.
City Hall is willing to pay for transportation: Bill de Blasio’s executive budget includes $2 million for the Rockaway Ferry, which only shuttles 880 passengers a day. Citi Bike, on the other hand, averages 30,000 trips per day, and is more environmentally friendly and healthier than any other public transit option. Why should it be any different?