PORTLAND, Ore. — A bike sharing program that is set to launch in Portland in 2015 faced criticism on Monday for a similar system the company launched in New York 10 months ago.
The city of Portland contracted Alta to launch the city’s bike sharing program next year, but with reports of financial difficulties, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) said it is watching its contractor “very carefully.”
Alta Bicycle Share’s future system in Portland is being funded through federal grant money and private investors.
“The city of Portland is taking a very fiscally conservative approach to this bike share system. We’re monitoring our contractor very carefully and we’ll hold them accountable,” said Dylan Rivera of PBOT.
Alta Bicycle Share’s 10-month old program in New York is called Citi Bike and is being criticized for everything from bike locations to potentially rising costs and lagging winter ridership.
However, Rivera said the New York system is different from what Portland’s will be like in 2015.
“The New York situation has a different software supplier. The New York situation had a hurricane impact the system, and they’ve been criticized for winter weather,” said Rivera.
In a written statement, Alta Bicycle Share said the following in regards to Monday’s criticisms: ‘As with any new industry, there are challenges…all these things are fixable and we are working diligently to fix them. As a company, we are financially sound.”
Portland city officials said they remain confident that the bike sharing program will be successful here.