And it has come to pass — the bike share plan just ain’t what it should be.
Am I surprised? Hell no. In a city where not even OTB can succeed, the bike thing was doomed before the first gear clicked in.
The pedal-powered transit system, bequeath to us by Emperor Bloomberg, is not living up to its potential, according to several articles. Here’s a breakdown of what’s going wrong:
• The company that runs it is in deficit spending.
• The bikes and kiosks are not being properly maintained
• The interfaces are not user friendly (especially to tourists, who were one of the main targets to use the bike share program)
• The app that is supposed to let you know how many bikes are available doesn’t let you know how many have flats, s
• A $15 million injury lawsuit was filed in February (and we all know that without a helmet requirement, more are on the way).
• The $94 bucks a year membership per rider to keep the plan cycling along just ain’t enough.
And with the winter we had, pedestrians couldn’t get down the streets walking let alone reach over the mounds to get to a bike and then ride it out the broken gate and down the block.
According to a column in the Daily News of March 24, Bike Share NYC, the company charged with maintaining the bikes, failed to fix the 98 percent of the bikes that it is required to by contract, only repairing 37 percent of the vandalized bikes within 96 hours and only 50 percent of the docks in 48 hours.
So at any given time there are a whole lot of bikes and kiosks inoperable.
And of course the biggest issue— losing money.
The Department of Transportation, which is responsible for monitoring Bike Share NYC, has been ineffectual as well in failing to let the public know how badly the rental agent is performing. It can barely keep track of the problems.
Is it any wonder? Do we all see the condition of our highways and byways? Just look at the pothole debacle in this city. In Staten Island alone, the potholes are big enough to swallow the ego of our present emperor, which is expanding daily. And the bridges and tunnels are in need of repair. No wonder the department can’t keep tabs on bikes.
In another article dated March 21, the mayor said, “We’re looking for ways to make their operation more efficient,” he said. Adding that he wants to see the program expand.
“At this moment, city budget money is not on the table. But we’re open to other alternatives.”
We all know what that means — more taxes.
Not for Nuthin, but making this plan work is going to be harder than getting hizzonor to show up on time.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.