NYC Now Actively Taking Money Away From Citi Bike

May 27, 2014 | Andy Cush

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?

(Photo: New York City Department of Transportation)