The company that supplied Aspen WE-cycle’s 100-bike, 13-station bike-sharing system has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Montreal-based Public Bike System Co. announced the bankruptcy Monday, citing almost $50 million in debt, according to the Montreal Gazette. The company’s bikes can be found in 16 different locations around the world, including cities in the U.S., Canada, England and Australia.
WE-cycle’s founder and director, Mirte Mallory, said she doesn’t anticipate Aspen’s operation being impacted by the bankruptcy proceedings.
“While WE-cycle is in hibernation for the winter, other bike-share systems around the country such as Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., which are also supplied by Public Bike System Co., are currently operational and do not foresee service disruptions,” Mallory said in a statement.
In December, Mallory said she was aiming to secure $200,000 in sponsorship before May, when WE-cycle’s second season kicks off. As manufacturer, Public Bike System Co. did not provide any sponsorship support. While the bike fleet is fully functional, Mallory wasn’t prepared to say where she would look if it needed maintenance. The fleet, which incurred eight flat tires last year, has a 10-year lifespan.
She said she is confident that WE-cycle will be rolling out in the spring, as all bikes and equipment are fully operational.
“WE-cycle is in full-swing preparations for its 2014 season by seeking a presenting sponsor and other sponsors and partners who are eager to provide a sustainable and efficient form of transportation to our community,” the statement said.
For WE-cycle’s first year, the city of Aspen and Pitkin County both chipped in $6,000 and $24,666, respectively. After an initial investment of $500,000, WE-cycle incurred $142,000 in operating costs while earning $146,000 in revenue and logging 10,053 rides for 2013.