Financially Strapped Citi Bike Requests NYC Funding

NEW YORK (AP) -

The city’s nearly year-old bike-sharing program is apparently facing a serious economic situation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday, and he wants to help — but there are no plans for the city to contribute funding to the program known as Citi Bike.

“I know that we value — I certainly value — Citi Bike,” de Blasio said. “I think it’s proven to be very helpful to a lot of people in this city. We hope to expand it to the outer boroughs. But they do have real economic challenges that they’re facing.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the privately funded system needs tens of millions of dollars to survive. They added that managers don’t believe it can unless it becomes more appealing to tourists and expands to new neighborhoods.

A spokeswoman for the company that runs Citi Bike said the program is a success and 700 people signed up just last week.

“Everything is on the table for Citi Bike,” Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said, “from improving operations to new sponsorships to additional financing.”