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Cleaning CitiBikes, now that's a first. This winter they have fallen way behind on their maintenance. I noticed almost half the CitiBikes at one station with sticker graffiti pasted on the front baskets over the CitiBike logo. The wear and tear is really starting to show now.Meanwhile the rollouts in other cities like Portland and Washington, DC have stalled out because they can't get any new equipment since Bixi, the system manufacturer, went bankrupt. In Montreal a guy named Bruno who owns a bunch of furniture stores just bought Bixi for just $4 million dollars. Turns out Bixi is losing $1 million every month. So if you go on vacation in Montreal this summer, you just might get to ride on a BrunoBike.If anyone wants to get an annual pass do it now, the prices are probably going to jump to around $140/year before all the people who signed up last year need to renew. In order to make more money they need to get more tourists, groups and casual riders to buy day passes, but with only one credit card kiosk serving up to 50-60 bikes, and you can only rent up to 2 bikes at a time on one credit card, there's no way this can happen. The rental process for day passes is too slow and complicated. In the end this bottleneck will strangle the system until its either fixed or the company goes bankrupt.If CitiBike misses the chance to do a price increase before that huge renewal wave hits, then there's no way they will start making any money until at least year 3 or 4. By then someone else will have taken it over, like Chipotle, since their customers need the exercise after eating those 2000 calorie burritos.
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