Earlier this month Mayor Bloomberg told reporters that CitiBike's "software isn't working yet," seemingly causing the delays that have prevented the program from being launched on time. Now the Post reports that the software delay has forced Alta, the company that is running the system and providing the bikes, to ask Citibank for $3.5 million in sponsorship funds ahead of schedule to cover costs. “They want the money earlier than they would’ve gotten it,” a source told the Post's City Hall Bureau Chief. While Citibank is "considering" Alta's request, the program may be pushed back to the spring. "No one wants to do this in November,” the source said. “You’d be looking at spring .”
We've contacted the DOT for comment, but the department's top spokesman, Seth Solomonow told the tabloid that the report "is inaccurate. While we can't get into details, we are working on a plan to launch the system." Citibank paid $1.4 million initially, then was scheduled to pay another $1.4 million on the launch date, and $2.1 million when 7,000 bikes are circulating in the system.
Perhaps the city is remaining cagy about the actual launch date of bike share because taxpayers aren't funding the program. "Rest assured we’re not going to put out any program here that doesn’t work," Mayor Bloomberg said at the presser, and that's fine by us. We'd rather have a smooth, efficient bikeshare experience in March than read the Post's "ChittyBike!!" headline next month.