Sunday, August 12, 2012

Teething problems 3

On Friday morning, thousands of bikes for the program, sponsored by Citigroup and known as Citi Bike, sat in boxes in Building 293 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “We’re still taking deliveries,” said a worker, who declined to be identified, rolling through the cavernous space on one of the few royal blue Citi Bikes so far assembled. Gray pieces for some of the hundreds of expected docking stations were stacked nearby. No activity could be seen at a few bike mechanic stands in one corner of the warehouse. There is no official date for the roll out, and supporters fear the warm-weather window to begin the program this year is shrinking. “We’re preparing for that eventuality,” Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives and Velo Mondial's friend, said in a phone interview last week, referring to a significant delay in the program. “That would be unfortunate but not disastrous. New York is ready for bike share.” At the same time, the arrival of bike share — whenever it occurs — raises a sort of existential question for the once-fringe group. With a staff of 23 full-time employees, roughly 8,000 dues-paying members and an active e-mail network of more than 40,000, not to mention a deep bench of alumni working in government, the group has become a potent political force. Read on in NYT.

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