Alta Bicycle Share delays New York City bike share launch

Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share, which operates a program in Washington, D.C., has hit up against a significant delay in the launch of its high-profile bike share in New York City.

Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share, which operates a program in Washington, D.C., has hit up against a significant delay in the launch of its high-profile bike share in New York City. 

Alta Bicycle Share's high-profile contract to design and launch a bike share program in New York City hit a speed bump Friday with word of a major delay in its launch.

Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share was selected to design and run the program in September, 2011.

The New York bike share, dubbed Citibike in a nod to its Citibank sponsor, was expected to launch in July but was then promised sometime in August.

On Friday New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the program would be delayed until next Spring.

"The software doesn't work. Duh," The New York Times quoted Mayor Bloomberg as saying on a radio show. "You're not going to put it out until it does work."

It also appears that when it does launch, in March 2013, it will be less ambitious than the original plan. When the contract was announced, it was for 10,000 bikes to be available via 600 solar-powered bike share stations around the city.

According to a New York City Transportation Department press release, next year's launch will be with 7,000 bikes available through 420 stations.

Alta works with a Canadian partner, Bixi, to build and deploy the bike-sharing system.

In an email, Alison Cohen, president of Alta Bicycle Share, clarified that Bixi, also known as PBSC, was developing the software for Alta.

Alta has also seen delays and some technical problems in other bike share program launches it's been working in Chicago and Chattanooga, Tenn.

The company also runs bike share programs in Washington, D.C., and Boston.

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