Bad news for group-bike-loving Times Square tourists: the NYPD has impounded all but one of PartyBike's fifteen group bikes. The owner claims that the police are cracking down on him because of a personal grudge, but we're guessing the 250(!) tickets the company received is probably more to blame. The NYSun has the story:
Donald Domite says his company is being singled out by police. "We follow the vehicle laws. We stop at lights. No one was ever injured," said Mr. Domite, 52, of Sayville, L.I., whose company started about two and a half years ago.
Three "conference bikes," as the vehicles are called, sit idly next to the police station on West 35th Street, and another 11 are impounded in Brooklyn. The company currently has only one operating in the city.
Riders pay $10 a person to traverse the neighborhood in roughly a six- or seven-block area - for example, traveling down Broadway, turning right on 42nd Street, and going up Eighth Avenue into Hell's Kitchen. Other routes include Rockefeller Center and Central Park.
Each bike costs $10-15k, so that's $200k in conference-bike sitting in an NYPD garage! Fear not, however, if you are desperate for a group ride: another vendor called Superbike still has four of the machines on the street. [Related: neighbors complained about Partybike last year.]