Launch of NYC bike share will be delayed an additional two months next spring because of damage to stored equipment caused by Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Department of Transportation announced on Friday. Citi Bike sharing will now debut — in scaled back form — in May 2013, which is Bike Month here.
In a press release, the DOT noted that various electrical components of the system fell victim to flooding of the Brooklyn facility where most of the equipment was warehoused:
“Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge flooded NYCBS’s facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which sits along the East River, and where about two-thirds of the system’s equipment had been stored before the Oct. 29 storm. While portions of the system’s equipment were not significantly damaged, including bike frames and hardware, many parts of the system containing electrical components must have individual parts refurbished or replaced.
“NYCBS is currently working to identify, repair and replace these damaged parts, aided through insurance and supplemented by equipment that wasn’t stored at the Navy Yard, as well as by additional equipment from its supplier and from elsewhere in the delivery pipeline.”
Citi Bike sharing, which, with 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations, will be the largest system in the nation, was set to debut last summer. In August, citing computer software problems, the city announced a delay until March 2013.
This latest development also will affect the numbers of bikes included in the initial roll-out. According to the DOT, 5,500 bikes and 293 stations will be placed into service in the densest areas of Manhattan south of 59th Street and Brooklyn. Work will then continue to extend the number to 7,000 in other parts of Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens by the end of 2013. (The August announcement called for initial launch of 7,000 bikes and 420 stations.)
The DOT noted that the city remains committed to bringing the system up to 10,000 bikes. In addition, the delay will not affect the $41 million in private funding from Citibank for the program.
Alta Bike Share operates the system.