I believe the FAQ was put together before the bikes came out so they had to say "will have". I believe with crime the way it is in NYC that if they didn't put in GPS, these bikes would end up in people's homes on a permanent basis.
I haven't personally looked at the bikes to know for sure, but if I was designing these & had to put a dynamo powered light on it to meet NYC laws, I would just install a hidden GPS that also feeds off the dynamo. It would only make sense. I also thought they found the bike a bit quicker than they would normally find a stolen bike in NYC, hence why I searched to see if a GPS was involved.
My current commute is from W. 88th to Brooklyn via the west side path, 10 th street to 2nd ave and over the Manhattan Bridge and then a stretch through Brooklyn and I've averaged seeing roughly a dozen on each ride. 1/2 to a 1/3 of them on the W.S. path and the other 1/2 on the Manhattan Bridge and the rest crossing town or over here in Brooklyn. Today I probably saw twice the usual number- 25 or so.
I'm surprised to see so many late at night as I do. I commute home around 10:30 at night. Also, surprised to see as many with helmets as there are. More during the week than on the weekend but still many of them seem to bring their own helmet.
1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter
The trend continues here in BF's (and elsewhere) to ascribe particular behaviors, usually negative, to a group, which may not, as a group, have all that much in common.
In this case, it's the people who choose to participate in the Citibike program. Already the list of these characteristics that are flying around are:
-They're a bunch of incompetent, inexperienced cyclists.
-They're all clueless tourists awed by Manhattan and lulled into a lemming like calm by bike lanes, paths and hordes of similarly clueless cyclists.
-They're a bunch of red light running, law breaking renegades.
-They're idealistic, yuppie, anti-car environmentalists with an axe to grind and a self serving agenda.
The fact of the matter is they may or may not be any or all of these things. I know that I, a cyclist who rides virtually everywhere I go on a bike and have done so as an adult for 43+ years, used the Barclay bikes while I was in London. I was there for something work related and using them to commute but I suppose I could have been classified as a "tourist" but certainly not, IMO, "inexperienced".
The people I've seen on these bikes seem relatively responsible. They seem to be following traffic laws and riding as well as anyone else on a bike in the city. During the weekdays I've seen lots of the bikes obviously being used by people heading to work. Commuting over the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn in business attire and often providing their own helmet.
The program is just over week old in NYC. It might be worthwhile to hold judgements and criticisms until its been in place long enough to see if any of the assumptions being thrown about have even an ounce of legitimacy.