Bloomberg announces 'Citibike' for NYC, but critics are already attacking the program for being 'too expensive.'

photo credit: Michael Appleton for the NY Times

This article titled “The price worth paying for New York's bike share” was written by Matt Seaton, for on Tuesday 8th May 2012 20.34 UTC

Perhaps it is because gift horses seem so few and far-between in the cycling campaigning world that the common habit of advocates is not just to look them in the mouth, but immediately to start doing dentistry on them.

So it was with the announcement Monday of the sponsorship arrangement that seals the deal for New York City's bike share program. This is the long-awaited “game-changer” that's going to put 10,000 bikes on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Citibank is providing $41m, Mastercard another $6.5m, to instal and run the huge infrastructure of “Citibikes” at some 600 docking stations between July 2012 and Spring 2013. This makes it by far the largest and most ambitious such operation in the US, and goes beyond the 8,000-strong fleet of “Boris bikes” in London's successful Barclays cycle hire scheme.

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