Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

22 January 2014

Bixi Est En Faillite; En Vive Citibike

Scarcely a day goes by without the New York Post or Faux--I mean Fox--news bashing the Citibike program.

A while back, New York magazine published a tongue-in-cheek article and Venn diagram suggesting reasons why "conservatives" "hate" Citibike and all other bike share programs.  One of the reasons given is that they perceive the program as "vaguely French."  

Bicycles in Montreal's bike-sharing program.


I put the word "conservative" in quotations because my understanding of the term is not necessarily what the author of the article seems to think it is.  And, among them, they don't all "hate" the program, or bicycles:  I know, and have known conservatives who are avid cyclists.

But folks who fit the writer's perception of the term--which I take to mean the editors of the Post and the Fox crowd--may be waiting with bated breath for a shoe to drop.

You see, Public Bike System Company, the Montreal firm that designed the Citibikes and their ports, has filed for bankruptcy.  Apparently, Citibike and the Chicago bike share programs didn't make payments to the company because glitches that resulted in difficulty or impossibility in taking bikes from, or returning them to, their ports.   

BSC, also known as Bixi, administers the bike share program in Montreal and supplies bikes and other equipment for the programs in a number of cities, including New York and Chicago.  

Citibike and New York City government officials said that BSC's bankruptcy shouldn't affect Citibike's current operations.  However, one has to wonder whether expansion of the program into other parts of the city (including my neighborhood, Astoria, and other parts of Queens) will be put on hold or cancelled altogether.
 

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