Earlier this month we learned that the city had narrowed down the number of companies contending to launch New York’s bike-share program this summer to two (maybe three), the closest of which is based in Wisconsin! What, no local bike companies? Well there was one, Worksman Cycles, the only major local bike manufacturer and the oldest in the country, but NY1 reports (in this un-embeddable video piece) that the Ozone Park-based company’s proposal was eliminated by the city last month.
The gist of it, though, is that Worksman has been in operation in 1898, and based in Ozone Park since 1979, and had put in a bid for the city’s forthcoming bike-share program in response to a request for proposals, only to be edged out by companies based in Oregon, Wisconsin and Germany. As company president Wayne Sosin puts it:
Had the city selected Worksman Cycles they would’ve supported a local factory, we would’ve increased employment, we would need more welders, painters, machinists…
It’s a little unclear from the report whether Worksman would have been designing and implementing the actual bike-share system, or simply providing the bicycles for another company’s system. In any case, the counter-intuitiveness of choosing far-flung companies over locals to create a sustainable urban transportation system is pretty staggering. Maybe Brooklyn’s bike-share program can get its bicycles from Worksman… (Streetsblog)