Chicago pursues a bike-share program similar to New York’s, and hits a similar delay

The Citi bike, and Robert Steel. (Dana Rubinstein)
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Add Chicago to the list of cities experiencing serious delays in the roll-out of a new bike-share program.

Today, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the city's plan to have 3,000 shareable bikes on city streets by this summer has been delayed until next year.

This comes on the heels of similar delays in Chattanooga and, of course, New York City. All of these cities have contracts with Alta Bicycle Share to operate the systems. And all three are experiencing delays.

In New York City, which was to launch the bike-share system in July with the end goal of 10,000 bikes stationed throughout the city, the mayor has blamed the delays on vague-sounding "software" problems and his administration has offered up virtually no other details. Nor, for that matter, has Alta.

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In Chattanooga, software problems are also to blame.

In Chicago, officials offer a different vague explanation entirely.

"Rather than rush to get the bikes on the street … we are looking to launch in the spring so we can ensure that we do this right, and have the infrastructure and planning fully in place so the program is a success from Day One,” one told the Sun-Times, adding, “This is a complicated infrastructure project that involves a great deal of planning, engineering and public outreach. We decided it was better to take the extra time to get it right. ... Another benefit is that we will have constructed many more miles of dedicated bike lanes by next spring, which will help to increase participation.”