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Did Hurricane Sandy Drown CitiBike Share, Too?

Uh, you could put your bombs in there?
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A prototype of the new CitiBike bike share bicycles.

When the subways stopped due to Hurricane Sandy we heard more than one person point out that the MTA's job would have been made a little bit easier if the city's much heralded, and oft-delayed, CitiBike bike share program had actually started last summer as planned. But it didn't and now, the Times reports, it seems that Hurricane Sandy may have pushed the Bloomberg transportation centerpiece back even further. See, all the CitiBike equipment in storage saw some serious flooding.

Since CitiBike's debut was delayed (due to software glitches and licensing issues) the city has been storing the program's equipment in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Which was heavily flooded in the storm. And that appears to have not been good for the bikes—and their circuitry-filled docking stations.

"We’re working on it," DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said yesterday when the Times asked her about the situation. "We had six feet of water in the Brooklyn Navy Yard." Beyond that the DOT isn't saying much, though it promises updates later on. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, for its part, says roughly 275 businesses on its premises "suffered significant losses to machinery, equipment and inventory."

For what it's worth we've heard rumors that the damage may be even worse than the DOT is letting on. But for now we'll have to wait and find out. Maybe docking stations are like some cellphones and they just need to dry out for a few days? In theory CitiBike is now supposed to debut in Lower Manhattan and North Brooklyn in March.

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