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Bike Chattanooga supplier declares bankruptcy

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

The primary supplier for Bike Chattanooga has declared bankruptcy, adding uncertainty to the program's problem-plagued launch.

The Public Bike System Co., known as Bixi, which provides the bikes and about 30 solar-powered bike rental kiosks throughout Chattanooga's downtown, owes $50 million to suppliers and creditors, including the taxpayers of Montreal.

Bixi also supplied shared bike programs in 15 other cities, including London, New York and Chicago. But some of those cities have withheld payments to the company, citing software problems, as has Alta Bicycle Share, which manages Bixi's equipment in Chattanooga on behalf of the city. Alta wants $11 million from Bixi due to software delays, Forbes reported.

Chattanooga spent $2 million to acquire 300 bikes and set up its program, but technical glitches and low ridership plagued the system in 2012 and 2013. As of March 13 2013, the program brought in just $113,951 against ongoing and administrative costs of more than $500,000.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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