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Citi Bike Has Apparently Been Unsafe for Riders Since Launch

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For anyone who has used a Citi Bike before, the findings of Comptroller Scott Stringer's audit of the popular bike share program that were published this morning should come as no surprise. With the program's reputation diminished by its shoddy bikes, broken docking stations, and inadequate payment kiosks, it's unsurprising Stringer's report delivered harsh criticism for the bike share administrator Alta Bicycle Share's failure to adequately inspect Citi Bike equipment and monitor its stations, which ultimately "discouraged growth in the system." Stringer's audit found that while every bike in the program is supposed to be inspected each month, often less than half were ever surveyed in that time (Only 28 percent received their monthly check-up in November 2013.) Seven out of 10 payment kiosks surveyed failed to connect to the database, and docking stations also went without inspection, all ultimately compromising riders' safety. Stringer also blames the failure of the program on a lack of accountability on the behalf of both Alta Bike Share and the Department of Transportation.

Ahead of Citi Bike's relaunch under the ownership of Bikeshare Holdings LLC, Stringer recommends that the company hire more staff to beef up their street presence and ensure maintenance on both bikes and stations gets completed, that they respond to complaints more promptly, and that they develop procedures to ensure payment kiosks are working and information on the Citi Bike app is accurate. If all this happens, maybe there's a chance that the oft-lambasted program will bring uncompromised joy to its users, although New Yorkers probably shouldn't hold their breath for that.
· Audit Report on the Maintenance of Bike Share Equipment by New York City Bike Share [official]
· Citi Bike gets harsh audit, promises improvement [Capital NY]
· New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer Knocks Citi Bike's Operation [WSJ]
· It's Official: Citi Bike Will Expand, Hike Fees To $150/Year [Curbed]
· All Citi Bike coverage [Curbed]