News & Politics

Company That Supplies Capital Bikeshare Files for Bankruptcy

Bikeshare users shouldn’t see any interruption in service, local officials say, but not all the details are known yet.

Photograph by Flickr user cool revolution.

The Canadian company that manufactures the equipment for Capital Bikeshare filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, but local authorities say people who get around Washington on those big, red, rental bikes shouldn’t be affected.

Public Bike System Company (popularly known as Bixi), which makes the bikes and docking stations for Capital Bikeshare and bicycle-sharing programs in seven other US cities, owes about $41.5 million to numerous creditors. Alta Bicycle Share, the Portland, Oregon company that manages Bikeshare’s operations, is claiming about $11 million for software delays in the systems it runs.

The District Department of Transportation says Capital Bikeshare is not impacted by Bixi’s bankruptcy right now, but the situation could change. “We don’t know all the details right now,” says spokesman Reggie Sanders. “Right now it does not affect operations of Bikeshare.”

Alta says in a corporate statement that its client cities do not lose their bike-sharing services. “Our systems across the country … are up and running and ABS will ensure that they continue to operate without interruption,” the company says.

Capital Bikeshare has about 2,500 bikes and more than 300 stations spread across the District, Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County.

In a statement, Bixi says it will continue to operate as it restructures its business, but adds that it was forced to file for bankruptcy protection because of some of its customers—bike-sharing systems—deducted 5.6 million Canadian dollars because of delays in software development.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.