This is not exactly food-related, but today the NYC announced that Alta Bike Share won the contract for the NYC Bike Share. For anyone not in NYC (or just not following this story), the City put out a call for bids last fall, and since then there has been much speculation about what a share for a city as large as New York will look like. Now we have it:
- Within the service area, which will stretch from the Upper West Side and Upper East Side to Bed Stuy and Greenpoint, New Yorkers will have access to 10,000 public bikes at about 600 stations.
- Annual memberships will cost under $100. Members will be able to make trips of up to 30 minutes at no charge.
- The stations will be sited with input from local communities, and the City Council will hold hearings on the program.
- The system must operate without public subsidy.
I confess, this sounds incredible ambitious, and I wonder how realistic it is. The Paris bike share was be much more costly than initially predicted, but I understand that subsequent programs have learned much from the mistakes made there (bikes are apparently much harder to steal in other cities). And of course, even if the rates have to go up, the program would be a success if it convinced people to at least try biking, and then maybe encouraged people to buy their own. Whatever happens, I’m excited to see how this plays out.