Over the 10 months since Citi Bike debuted, more than 97,000 riders forked over $95 for a yearly permit to pedal the blue bikes.
In exchange, they have gotten lousy treatment from a mismanaged company that is going broke and planning to ask for either a rate hike or taxpayer support.
Under Mayor Bloomberg and now Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Transportation has been ineffectual in forcing Bike Share NYC to get its act together.
DOT refuses, for example, to voice anything but muted criticism, despite knowing how badly the secretive bicycle rental agent is performing.
The company’s monthly reports, filed with the city and made public for the first time by the Daily News, certify its failures:
When curbside rental docks break down, the company must repair 99% of the inoperable stations within 48 hours. It August, it reported getting to just 64%.
In January, Bike Share NYC reported fixing just 50% of docks in 48 hours, and taking care of just 37% of vandalized bicycles within 96 hours, compared with the 98% the contract demands.
Plainly, New York has ceded control of an expanding mode of street transportation to a troubled, unaccountable monopoly.
The city could fine Bike Share NYC, but that would deepen its ills. Or the city could try to boot Bike Share NYC, but that would likely bring the bikes to a halt pending arrival of a new operator.
That’s why Citi Bikers — who have been vocal about the system’s hassles online — must take matters onto their own handlebars. We suggest using the Twitter hashtag #fixcitibike to convey the message: no upgrades, no renewals.