The latest feel-good idea from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office is a public bike-sharing program. In a city the size of NYC, and with its density of population, the idea seems reasonable — for private business that is. The city’s system is a debacle, sending its customers searching for workable equipment and shaking their heads.
Many docking stations have proved temperamental, refusing to accept bikes or process credit card information. Others have at times shut down altogether. On some occasions, passers-by have been able to pull a bike from a station without paying, probably because the last user was unable to lock it back in place. Some riders have grown weary of testing individual bike docks in search of one that works, and pedaled off to another station before the system eventually allowed them to end their trip.
And when these riders have called to complain, they have been put on hold for 45 minutes or more.
A private business wouldn’t survive treating customers like this.
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