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The Daily News: to save Citi Bike, we must destroy it.

March 26, 2014
She's reading a map, not The Daily News.

She’s reading a map, not The Daily News.

Among the responses to the news that Citi Bike is running in the red and hasn’t met its obligations to keep docks and bikes in working order, comes this very hysterical reaction from the Daily News, “Boycott the Bikes.”

Citi Bikers of New York, unite: In two months, the bicycle-sharing program’s first annual memberships come up for renewal. Now is the time for riders to make clear that they will not sign up again unless service improves.

At silly as this suggestion is, at least we can consider this “fauxtrage” as a kind of progress. It wasn’t that long ago that The Daily News was ranting about “pedestrian perdition” and other ills visited upon real New Yorkers – including Bill de Blasio! — by the scourge of cycling.

So, does a boycott make sense? Well, it doesn’t even make sense to the editorial writers. Here’s the News’ rationale behind recommending a boycott over other measures:

The city could fine Bike Share NYC, but that would deepen its ills. Or the city could try to boot Bike Share NYC, but that would likely bring the bikes to a halt pending arrival of a new operator.

That’s why Citi Bikers — who have been vocal about the system’s hassles online — must take matters onto their own handlebars. We suggest using the Twitter hashtag #fixcitibike to convey the message: no upgrades, no renewals.

If you’re playing along at home, it would be bad for the city to fire the company running Citi Bike because that would bring the bikes to a halt, but good for members to stop using the system and essentially bring the bikes to a halt. Fining Bike Share NYC — the company’s real name is NYC Bike Share, LLC — would deepen its ills, but depriving the company of annual membership fees would force it to get its act together.

You got that?

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3 Comments
  1. Albert permalink
    March 26, 2014 10:48 am

    When my membership comes up for renewal I am now considering giving an additional “gift” membership to a friend or family member in addition to my own unshakeablly definite renewal.

  2. March 26, 2014 12:07 pm

    The funny thing is is that if the system’s reliability is as bad as the Daily News says it is, then there’s no need to call for a boycott – people just won’t renew.

    My gut sense is that while there are some issues with reliability and the software, overall the system works just fine for most people. That’s not to discount the financial troubles and management issues, but the average user is probably using the system just fine.

    We’ll see what happens with the first round of renewals. I certainly plan to re-up, as I’ve had no real issues using and returning bikes at all.

  3. March 27, 2014 10:46 am

    Not one single #fixcitibike tweet since the article was published. I think that tells you what kind of influence The Daily News has.

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