New York City Asks Citi Bike to Cover $1 Million in Lost Parking Revenue

Citi Bike station in NYC. (Flickr / JMazzolaa)

Citi Bike station in NYC. (Flickr / JMazzolaa)

New York City’s bike share system, Citi Bike has had a rough first year. The bikes are in bad shape, the docking technology is glitchy, and the system has been plagued with financial troubles for months. To make matters worse for the beleaguered program, New York City is asking Alta Bikeshare—the company which oversees Citi Bike—to cough up $1 million to cover lost parking revenue from the parking spaces the bike stations occupy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a provision in Alta’s contract states that the company must reimburse the city for revenue lost from turning parking spaces into bike docking stations. That provision was part of  Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to make the program entirely free of tax payer dollars—a commitment that Mayor de Blasio plans to keep.

But because of ongoing negotiations between Alta and REQX Ventures—an investment firm that could provide Citi Bike with much-needed capital—this $1 million check may never be written or cashed. The two entities are reportedly trying to remove this parking provision from a revised contract. The Journal reported, “cutting Alta a break on lost parking revenue could be construed as an effective public subsidy, and could raise political and philosophical questions about whether taxpayers should support New York City’s bike-share.” As with all Citi Bike news, though, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

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