If Citi Bike wants to get off the struggle bus it's going to need "tens of millions of dollars." The Wall Street Journal reports that the bike share program is running in the red and that its organizers are scrambling for a fix.
One problem is that 24-hour pass sales, which are more the most profitable, have dropped significantly. Officials expected tourists to eat up Citi Bikes, but that just hasn't happened. Some people have had a hard time buying passes because of computer glitches, and, oh yeah, this past winter was harsher than Gordon Ramsay berating a kitchen full of amateurs.
Citi Bike has also had to spend more than expected on moving bikes based on commuter patterns. A person who, say, rides a bike from the the West Village to Midtown in the morning might not bring it back later. That's on Citi Bike to remedy. A third party also had to be brought in to manually charge batteries every night at the 330 docking stations. Another expense.
To save their asses Citi Bike officials will probably have to raise money privately through more sponsors or obtain funding from the government. Bike shares in Chicago, Boston, Washington, Houston, and San Francisco all receive aid from the local or federal government. And they don't consistently grab headlines for sucking like Citi Bike.
[via Wall Street Journal]