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Springtime Demand Has Sprung for City Bike Mechanics

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Springtime for many means it's time to re-start commuting using Citi Bike, but it's not just annual members hoping the company works out its recently revealed financial problems. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Citi Bike is gearing up for springtime. But before you can have a go round, more than 6,000 bikes need a tune-up. As the mercury moves up, so does usage.

"We are in the process of actually circulating every single one of our bikes back to our warehouse," said said Dani Simons of Citi Bike.

A total of 26 mechanics repair about 100 bicycles a day, or 2,000 a month. That goes on all year long.

"Most of the bikes that come in to the shop are either coming in, because they've been we call it wrenched or red lighted n the docks by customers who have issues with them or else our bike checkers flag them that they need maintenance," Simons said.

And despite problems turning a profit the private company with the city contract now looks to hire 15 bike checkers for field work.

Christopher Diaz just graduated from the non profit Henry Street Settlement's bicycle mechanic skills academy.

"This is exciting I'm just shaking right now we got our own Allen key," Diaz said.

He's among almost 30 graduates now walking away with tools and skills to enter a budding biking industry.

"I learned how to overhaul threaded headsets," said Steve Chabra, a program graduate.

Steve Chabra and roughly 10 others found jobs before they even graduated.

"That skill set is really in high demand right now," said Henry Street Settlement Executive Director David Garza.

Henry Street Settlement teamed up with recycle a bicycle for the 10 week program that includes internships at bike shops.

"This program is deliberately timed to provide people with training in anticipation of what's now bike hiring season," Garza said.

And he's not just talking about Citi Bike. More bike lanes, peddlers and pedicabs fuel the optimism.

"Oh I'm positive all the way you know I'm hype," Diaz said.

The negative news about Citi Bike won't get him down. Published reports indicate Citi Bike needs tens of millions of dollars to keep running. How Citi Bike and the city will solve that remains unclear.

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