The blue bikes will finally be making their way into the “World’s Borough.”
Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike, and the Department of Transportation announced Friday that the Citi Bike expansion, which was announced last October, will begin in early August with new stations being installed in various neighborhoods, including Long Island City.
The first wave of stations is part of a larger expansion plan that is expected to double the size of the bike share network from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes throughout the city over the next two years.
“With over 19 million trips, it is clear that New Yorkers love Citi Bike and we are excited to see the network double in size, expanding to Queens, more of Brooklyn, and upper Manhattan,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
There will be 91 new stations installed during this first phase of the expansion throughout Long Island City, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Long Island City will get a total of 12 stations, including one by the Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av subway station, another in front of MoMa PS1, one next to the LIC Flea & Food and another right by Queensboro Plaza.
“The long-awaited arrival of Citi Bike in Long Island City is great news. Bike share will allow the people to enjoy our neighborhood in a healthy, fun way and facilitate easier travel around western Queens, an area in dire need of better mass transit,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said.
Long Island City was supposed to be part of the Citi Bike’s initial phase, which debuted in 2013, but was pushed back after equipment damage from Superstorm Sandy caused a delay.
Astoria is another Queens neighborhood slated for docking stations; however, those bikes will arrive at a later time.
“For years I have fought to bring Citi Bike to Queens and I’m proud to say that the blue bikes will be here soon,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “Cycling in western Queens has become extremely popular and the addition of 12 new Citi Bike 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.”
Along with the expansion, Motivate has also replaced the software that powers Citi Bike, replaced software and hardware at all exiting stations and docking points, and added 1,000 new and upgraded bikes to its fleet. An additional 1,400 bikes will be added this summer to stock up the new stations.
The bikes, which were developed in partnership with Olympic bike designer Ben Serotta, have new features, including higher-quality parts and upgraded seats.
Motivate is also working to provide discounted Citi Bike memberships to residents of affordable housing developments, and free access for group rides to community-based organizations.
For more information on the Citi Bike expansion, visit www.citibikenyc.com/expansion.