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Chicago's Bike Sharing Program Put Off Until Next Spring

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[Photo via flickr by vinzcha / Creative Commons]

For those planning to take advantage of Chicago's new bike sharing program, you'll have to wait another year to do so, as it's being delayed until next spring. The city's reason for the holdup: it wants to have all of its ducks in a row given the complexity of the program. As Transportation Department spokesman Peter Scales told the Sun-Times: “This is a complicated infrastructure project that involves a great deal of planning, engineering and public outreach. We decided it was better to take the extra time to get it right." But there's a lot more intrigue here. For one, an investigation is underway into whether Alta Bicycle Share, the company chosen to operate the program until 2027, was given preferential treatment during the selection process. As it turns out, Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein once worked for Alta as a consultant. Also, there are lingering doubts about the reliability of Alta's software, which has caused hiccups in New York City's bike sharing program. Chicago's plan calls for 3,000 bikes located at 300 stations throughout the city. The cost of an annual membership is $75. But riders can also purchase a $7 daily pass and have unlimited rides for under 30 minutes.
· City’s bike sharing program delayed until next year [Sun-Times]