Bike-share program will spin around by next summer


By Khiara Ortiz

Although the city’s highly anticipated bike-share program wasn’t in place for this summer, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan last week announced that Alta Bicycle Share, Inc. will be operating the privately funded program, which is now slated to start up next summer.

The bike-share program will give New Yorkers a convenient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation around the city and also help people make connections between subways and buses.

“We could not be more excited to bring our successful bike-share system to New York City,” said Alison Cohen, president of Alta Bicycle Share. “Bike share is a new form of public transportation that will help connect New Yorkers to their own neighborhoods, to other neighborhoods and to public transit. At the same time, it will make New York City a healthier, cleaner, greener and safer place. Alta Bicycle Share is elated to help make this happen.”

A sticker between the bikes’ handlebars will inform riders on safety rules for cruising through the city, and helmet discounts will become available.

Already a popular mode of transportation in Paris, London and a few U.S. cities, the program will come at no cost to New York taxpayers and run on solar power. G.P.S. tracking devices will help prevent the theft of these $1,000 bicycles for which an annual pass will reportedly cost $100.

So far, the plan is for 10,000 bikes to be distributed among 600 stations at locations in Manhattan below 79th St. and in Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens.

A number of demonstrations and workshops, with six already scheduled in the near future, will be held throughout Manhattan to generate community feedback from bike testers to improve the plan’s execution. An online Web portal at www.NYCityBikeshare.com is available for comments and facts on the program.

Cycling advocate Ian Dutton, formerly of Community Board 2, rear, tried out one of the kiosks on Sept. 14.