While we’ve all been eagerly awaiting the launch of NYC’s first bike share program this summer, today’s news may flatten your tires of expectation a little bit. The city announced this morning that CitiBank will be the official sponsor of the program, brandishing its corporate logo all over the 10,000 blue bikes set to hit the streets. So the whole bike share thing is meant to be a groovy triumph of urban living, a thing you can hop on instead of so much overpriced livery cab, pedal to your destination and park it for the next biker to use, easy peesy lemon squeezy. But CitiBank hasn’t exactly been a friend to brokesters these past few years, especially not as Occupy has targeted it for perpetuating that particular brand of Big Bank Douchebaggery that defined the financial crisis. Would you ever roll up to an Occupy rally this summer on your shiny new CitiBank bike?
As Transportation Nation points out, most bike share programs do not make profits on rentals and membership, so sponsorship money is key to get this whole thing rolling. And last we checked, no credit unions have that kind of money too swing around. So dancing with the (financial) devil may be necessary to defeat that other, gas-guzzling devil.
What do you say on this thing: like it or spike it?