As reported on Transportation Nation this morning, the New York City Bike Share program launch date has been pushed back to next spring. According to the mayor, software glitches prevented the launch by the intended date, July 31st.
Commenting on his weekly radio program that the goal for the bikes is now next year, the mayor added: “Hopefully the software will work by then. We want to make sure that it works. Washington and Boston are pretty good tests.”
New York’s system of 10,000 bikes will be by far the largest in the country, so it’s not surprising that the scale of the plan slows the schedule. And from a political and logistical standpoint, the size of the market means that the planners need the software to be rock solid – tracking, metering and billing thousands of users, in a streetside system exposed to the elements – before turning it loose on the streets of NYC.
And by the time they cut the ribbon (now anticipated for March, 2013), and the first customer unlocks a bike and pedals away, the delay may have only increased the public’s appetite for a new way to get around town.