The Citi Bike expansion will double the current service area by 35 square miles and triple the number of bikes to 40,000. On July 16, 2019, the de Blasio Administration announced Citi Bike’s expansion. Last November, Lyft entered into an agreement with the City to invest $100 million in Citi Bike, which will double the size of Citi Bike’s service area and triple the number of bikes in the program. The expansion will take place from 2019 to 2023 and will bring Citi Bike to all of Manhattan, the Bronx, and deeper into Brooklyn and Queens.
Citi Bike has already begun the expansion by adding twenty-five Citi Bike stations along the L train through East Williamsburg and Bushwick with more stations planned in this area and in Ridgewood, Queens over the next few months. Citi Bike will begin expansion into neighborhoods currently without Citi Bike stations, like Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx. Installation is expected to be completed in 2020.
In the Bronx, Citi Bike stations will appear in Mott Haven, Melrose, Port Morris, Highbridge, Claremont, Morrisania, Longwood, Concourse, and Mt. Eden.
In Brooklyn, new Citi Bike stations will appear in Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, East Flatbush, Sunset Park, South Slope, Windsor Terrace, Prospect Park South, and Kensington.
In Manhattan, new Citi Bike stations will appear in Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill, Washington Heights, and Inwood.
In Queens, new Citi Bike stations will appear in Sunnyside, Maspeth, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona.
As part of the agreement between the City and Lyft, Lyft will continue to expand Citi Bike equity programs. One such program, Reduced Fare Bike Share, sponsored by Healthfirst, allows NYCHA residents and New Yorkers who receive SNAP benefits to use Citi Bike for five dollars per month. Since the commencement of this program, the City saw a 55% increase in ridership within one year. These members use Citi Bike at twice the rate as full-fare members.
Citi Bike also announced a $300,000 grant program, sponsored by Healthfirst, to extend ridership to low-income neighborhoods. The initial grantees of the program are Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, GrowNYC, Urban Upbound, Union Settlement, GOLES, Red Hook Initiative, and El Puente Bushwick.
The Department of Transportation and Citi Bike have also collaborated on a new handcycle pilot program. Handcycles are three-wheeled, hand-controlled, adaptive bikes for people with disabilities. Handcycles are free-of-charge and can be found at Weekend Walks, Summer Streets, and other events throughout the summer. Citi Bike and Transportation are working with the NYU Ability Project to assess the impact of this initiative and consider future adaptive vehicle programming.
Mayor de Blasio commented that Citi Bike’s expansion “will help us build a more fair and equitable city for all New Yorkers. Even more communities will have access to this low-cost, sustainable mode of transportation. With double the territory and triple the number of bikes over the next few years, Citi Bike will become an even better option for travel around New York City.”
Caroline Samponaro, Head of Micromobility Policy at Lyft, the operator of Citi Bike said, “Here in New York, Citi Bike’s expansion to new neighborhoods will provide convenient, affordable, and sustainable transit access to many additional New Yorkers, shortening commutes, boosting public health, and building connections between communities across our great city.”
By: Laine Vitkevich (Laine is a CityLaw Intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2020).