The buyout of Alta Bicycle Share rumored since July is finally a done deal. Alta -- which operates New York's Citi Bike, Washington, DC's Capital Bikeshare, Chicago's Divvy, San Francisco's Bay Area Bike Share, and several other cities' systems -- will be purchased by REQX Ventures, an affiliate of the Related Companies and its Equinox unit.
The injection of capital from REQX is expected to help resolve lingering problems with Citi Bike's supply chain, software system, and operations, which until now have prevented any expansion of the bike-share network.
The sale was reported Friday by Capital New York's Dana Rubinstein, and Streetsblog has confirmation from two people with knowledge of the deal.
Rubinstein reported that REQX plans to double the size of the Citi Bike fleet to 12,000 bikes. Annual membership prices are expected to increase about 50 percent.
New management and an infusion of funds from REQX bodes well for all Alta bike-share programs over the next year after a stagnant 2014. Alta's supply chain troubles have hampered system expansions in Chicago, DC, Boston, and San Francisco, among other cities.
Brad Aaron began writing for Streetsblog in 2007, after years as a reporter, editor, and publisher in the alternative weekly business. Brad adopted New York's dysfunctional traffic justice system as his primary beat for Streetsblog. He lives in Manhattan.