The buyout of Alta Bicycle Share rumored since July is finally a done deal. REQX Ventures, an affiliate of the Related Companies and its Equinox unit, and Alta Bicycle Share, the company that operates Citi Bike, have agreed to terms on the purchase, according to published accounts and sources familiar with the negotiations.
The injection of capital from REQX is expected to help resolve lingering problems with Citi Bike’s supply chain, software system, and operations, which until now have prevented any expansion of the bike-share network.
The sale was reported Friday by Capital New York’s Dana Rubinstein, and Streetsblog has confirmation from two people with knowledge of the deal.
Rubinstein reported that REQX plans to double the size of the Citi Bike fleet to 12,000 bikes. In July, the expansion was rumored to reach up to 145th Street in Manhattan and into western Queens and another ring of Brooklyn neighborhoods adjacent to the current service area. Annual membership prices are expected to increase about 50 percent.
New management and an infusion of funds from REQX bodes well for all Alta bike-share programs over the next year after a stagnant 2014. Alta’s supply chain troubles have hampered system expansions in Chicago, DC, Boston, and San Francisco, among other cities.
The city is expected to make an official announcement soon. However, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg refused to discuss the Alta deal at a press conference earlier today about NYC’s new 25 mph speed limit.