BY YVETTE BROWN
CitiBike is finally coming to Queens after the Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Motivate CEO Jay Walder teamed up to expand the amount of stations by early August.
The first phase of the expansion include adding stations to Long Island City, as well as Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bedford-Stuyvesant. It will also include an additional 48 stations on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side from 59th to 86th streets. The expansion will double in size citywide from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes over the course of two years, and is supported by a sponsorship commitment from Citi of about $70.5 million which extends through 2024.
“Cycling in Western Queens has become extremely popular and the addition of 12 new CitiBike docking stations add a much needed alternative mode of transportation to an area of the borough that is growing and vibrant, and in need of more transportation options,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). “As we work to expand CitiBike further throughout the city, I look forward to working with Motivate and DOT to ensure the communities of Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside have the access to our nation’s largest bike sharing network.”
Motivate partnered with Citi after the program hit a financial snag. They helped to replace the software that powers CitiBike as well as the hardware at the existing stations and docking points, they’ve also added 1,000 new and upgraded bikes to its fleet, which started at the end of June. Motivate will bring an additional 1,400 into circulation this summer to equip the expansion stations. Along with Motivate, Olympic bike designer Ben Serotta helped to develop the bikes, which will now offer a series of new features and comforts including higher-quality parts and upgraded seats to prevent water from pooling when it rains.
“This is the next step in our commitment to deliver a bigger and better CitiBike with updated technology, a new and improved bicycle and now hundreds of new stations,” said Walder. “We are hard at work continuing to improve CitiBike and ensuring that it is accessible to more communities around the city.”
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is still hopeful that CitiBike will come to the Rockaways, considering that so many people bike to work.
“CitiBikes would add to the Rockaway renaissance that has brought an increase of visitors to the peninsula,” said Ulrich. “This would provide a boom to the local economy, helping many of our local small businesses.”
There will be 12 CitiBike stations in Long Island City, 20 in Greenpoint, 33 in Williamsburg, 26 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, 27 on the Upper East Side and 21 on the Upper West Side. There are already CitiBike stations every few blocks in Manhattan below 59th Street, Brooklyn Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene and DUMBO. Annual members receive an electronic key to unlock a bike from any station, which allows for unlimited trips for up to 45 minutes without additional costs. There are also 24-hour and seven-day access passes are available to purchase at any CitiBike station and allows for unlimited 30-minute trips.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext.128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.