Queens will get additional Citi Bike services as mayor announces citywide expansion

Photo by Bill Parry
By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that New Yorkers will soon see a dramatic expansion in Citi Bike across the city. The number of new bikes and biking docs to come to Queens has yet to be determined.

“New York City is one of the world’s great biking cities — and it’s about to get even better,” de Blasio said in a Nov. 29 press release. “This expansion means tens of thousands more New Yorkers are going to have a fast and inexpensive way to get around their city. It also means much more reliable service for all the riders who already use Citi Bike.”

The mayor reached an agreement with Lyft that allows the ride sharing company to acquire Motivate, Citi Bike’s parent company and the nation’s largest bike sharing program.

The company will then invest $100 million to strengthen the bike sharing system which includes doubling Citi Bike’s service area by 35 square miles and tripling the number of available bikes from its current 40,000 in the next five years.

Both pedal-assist bicycles and regular bikes will be a part of the expansion.

By the end of February, Lyft plans on restoring the existing Citi Bike system to its required fleet level of 12,000 bikes.

As part of the agreement, the city also retains its right to continue work on the on-going three-borough dockless bike pilot program and to implement more dockless bike share services outside of the expanded Citi Bike service area.

This growth will turn Citi Bike into one of the largest bike share systems on the planet, de Blasio said.

Lyft will continue Citi Bike’s efforts towards transportation equality and pledges to invest more in the $5 monthly bike share memberships available to NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients.

Where exactly the new bikes and bike docs will be decided in the coming months, according to the release. Expansion will be accompanied by community and elected official outreach.

Citi Bike already operates in Astoria and Long Island City.

“I look forward to CitiBike’s continued growth into more western Queens neighborhoods and beyond,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said.

The improvement and expansion of Citi Bike will continue to be privately funded without any government subsidies, according to de Blasio.

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