NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Controversy continues to swirl around the city’s soon-to-be-unveiled Citi Bike sharing program.
New York City said it is “deeply concerned” about problems with the new program.
In order to make way for those controversial bike docking stations, some residents claim their cars were towed without warning and they were illegally forced to pay cash to get them back.
Before the share program has even begun, signs of anger have popped up around Greenwich Village, along with complaints about some troublesome towing.
Allan Montaine and Jill Schulster told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello their cars were wrongly towed.
“Very unhappy, but I have good company,” Montaine told Aiello. “When I went to the tow pound, the woman said ‘you see all the cars in this lot? They’re all from this same issue.’”
“The docking station was there,” Schulster said. “My car was gone.”
The city’s Department of Transportation said No Parking signs are supposed to be put up 72 hours before work takes place. But drivers claim in several locations in and around the Village, that didn’t happen.
“This is a critical issue because there were never any signs,” Montaine told Aiello.
Schulster added she is “100 percent positive there were no signs there. I am very, very careful.”
Both drivers said when they contacted the towing company hired by Citi Bike share, it insisted they pay the $200 towing fee in cash, despite a city law requiring tow companies to accept credit cards.
“I put a credit card down on the table. She said, ‘We don’t take credit cards; we only take cash,’” Montaine told Aiello.
“No, they would not take a credit card. They would not take Visa or MasterCard or American Express, nothing,” Schulster said.
The towing company would not answer the door when Aiello stopped Tuesday by looking for answers.
The DOT said the problems are “deeply concerning” and that it’s telling its private partner in the bike share to fix them.
A West Village apartment building also recently filed a lawsuit over the bike share racks popping up on its block.
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