The impoverished Citi Bike program might have a new savior. The popular but underfunded bike share system is in "advanced talks" with investment firm REQX Ventures, a developer formed by the fitness center Equinox, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The firm, along with Citi Bike's parent company Alta Bicycle Share, are apparently discussing the possibility of injecting more money into the program, which would enable it to finally expand to more neighborhoods, as well as improve the infamously buggy software, a source told the paper.
The amount that REQX might invest is unknown, and negotiations are far from set in stone. DOT has not responded to a request for comment.
In addition to the potential new funding source, an internal report suggested that though the bike share program has flailed financially in its first year, it's likely that many of its costly setbacks were unfortunate one-offs from which it can continue to recover in Year Two.
In the meantime, Alta Bicycle Share has proposed increasing the cost of an annual membership from $95 to $140, which represents an increase of 47 percent that could bring in an additional $4.6 million per year. It's unclear whether a new revenue stream would alleviate the need for a price increase.