Wall Street Journal Editor Has Even More to Say on Bike Share

Friday, June 07, 2013 – 04:19 PM

Source : WNYC

Citi Bike rider (Alex Goldmark)

Citi Bike rider (Alex Goldmark)

When the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz called Citi Bike a product of Mayor Bloomberg’s “autocratic, totalitarian” mind, the reaction wasn’t exactly muted.  New York Magazine concocted a Venn diagram addressing why conservatives hate Citi Bike (hint: it’s vaguely French), and even Jon Stewart jumped in with”Slow Down, Lady Hunger Games!” and a hefty 5 1/2 minute segment. Now, Rabinowitz is back for more.

In her second video, Rabinowitz takes the “bike lobby” — or “big wheel,” as Stewart calls them — to task for “terrorizing” every public official in New York, and for responding to her criticisms just as bikers on sidewalks do: with “outstreched” middle fingers.  She calls arguments that bike share planners held hundreds of community meetings and that polls show New Yorkers love bike share “laughable.”  And she simply brushes off the idea that biking might be healthy.

But Rabinowitz isn’t Citi Bike’s only critic this week.  Bike Share enthusiast Felix Salmon takes Citi Bike to task for its glitchy system. Salmon writes.

I’m a massive fan of bikeshare plans in theory, and I warmly welcomed NYC’s CitiBike system in particular, after it launched. I ran into a couple of problems with stations not being able to dispense bikes, but I put that down to teething troubles, and didn’t think them worth mentioning.

Now, however, I’m worried that the problem of stations being able to neither receive nor dispense bikes is a big one, and that it’s not going to be fixed any time soon. I sent some detailed questions on this issue to both CitiBike and NYC’s department of transportation, and I’ll let you know if and when I hear back from them, but so far they seem to be suspiciously close-mouthed about what’s going on — which in turn makes me think that this is no easy-to-fix glitch.

That about mirrors our own experience (down to not having our questions answered other than to be told something like all start ups have glitches).  Plus, the phone system is frequently busy, has long waits, or is down altogether, as Citi Bike’s twitter feed shows.

Still, the system is growing wildly.  As of Thursday, there were over 33,000 members.

If you missed the Stewart video, it’s really funny: