It was earlier reported that the Bixi bankruptcy had delayed CaBi's expansion to College Park, but now it appears to be having an impact system-wide:
new stations planned in the District and Alexandria are delayed, officials say. The reason? The bike network has been unable to purchase new bicycles and docking stations this year since the system’s sole bike equipment provider’s bankruptcy filing.
An official with Alta Bicycle Share, the company that operates Capital Bikeshare, said Alta is “doing everything we can to get the equipment as soon as possible,” but it was unclear when purchases might resume.
“It is impacting our ability to order new equipment, which we want to do,” said D.C. transportation planner Jim Sebastian. “There are potential problems down the road if this doesn’t get straightened out.
In the District, where Capital Bikeshare operates nearly 200 stations, an order sent in February for 40 new stations and 400 new bicycles is on hold. The eight stations and 71 bikes Alexandria ordered in August have not arrived. Montgomery has a back order for two stations.
Officials in the District, Arlington and Montgomery say they have equipment in a warehouse to get a few new stations going. D.C. officials said they were counting on the new order to expand the network to all wards in the city.
The good news is
Alta officials said Friday that they think a Quebec businessman successfully bid on PBSC and that the deal could soon lead to the resumption of Alta’s relationship with the company.
But it could be the summer before the region gets new equipment. It generally takes two to four months for an order to arrive, officials say. The delay could cost Capital Bikeshare potential growth in membership this spring, the season when use of the system surges and membership picks up. Still, area transportation officials say they are optimistic.
“This is just a small hiccup,” said Chris Hamilton, Arlington’s commuter services chief. “The jurisdictions have confidence that we can ride this out in the next few weeks and will have a great season.”