The hold-up with NYC’s bike-share launch is technical, not political. Mayor Bloomberg revealed this afternoon that Citi Bike is behind schedule because of kinks in the system’s software that are still being worked out.
The Public Bike System Company, which produces the kiosks and bikes for NYC’s system, recently switched software providers, claiming that its former provider was overbilling. The new software apparently isn’t ready to be deployed.
The Times’ Thomas Kaplan relays Bloomberg’s take on the problem, which he shared with reporters at an unrelated press event this afternoon:
“The only thing about a delay — if it turns out that there is one — is that people won’t be able to use something that we think will be phenomenally popular. But until we get it working perfectly, have these private companies do it to our satisfaction, we’re just not going to put it out.”
The mayor also seemed amused by the consternation over the program’s start date.
“What’s fascinating,” he said, “is there was a lot of screaming, ‘We don’t want bikes,’ and now everybody’s screaming, ‘We want ’em now.’”