NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Citi Bike has tens of thousands of members, but the bike share program is coming up flat when it comes to profits.
As CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reported on Friday evening, the bike share which launched last May is mulling a rate hike to pump up earnings.
“I think it’s outrageous,” one city resident told Rapoport. “I think they’re already charging a lot of money.”
Citi Bike is wildly popular with 98,000 New Yorkers signed up for a $95 annual membership, yet it’s thus far unprofitable and remains in the red, Rapoport reported.
The bike share program also offers weekly memberships for $25 and 24-hour rates for $9.95.
Citi Bike is operated by Alta Bicycle Share, which operates similar systems in six other cities.
At a City Council hearing Thursday night, New York City DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said all options are on the table when asked about a fee increase.
“We are working diligently with them to try and resolve the challenges they face and seeing what we can do to strengthen the program going forward,” said Trottenberg.
“The fee is really reasonable and really cheap,” another New Yorker told Rapoport.
Some on the City Council said the program should receive government subsidies. But the DOT said it is not ready to take that position, Rapoport noted.
There are 6,000 Citi Bikes docked at 330 stations across parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, with many additional neighborhoods anxious to get their own.
Currently, no rate increase is scheduled.
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