Lyft joined with community leaders and the local nonprofit organization Urban Upbound Thursday, May 5, to launch a new fleet of electric Citi Bikes along 8-42 Astoria Blvd. across the street from Astoria Houses.
Transportation advocates, tenant association leaders and other stakeholders gathered at Astoria Houses to announce the new Citi Bikes available just in time for National Bike Month kicking off this week. The new bikes are a smarter and more adaptive design, said John Zimmer, president and co-founder of Lyft.
“Our design team created an e-bike New Yorkers will love, and one that’s built to last. We’re very excited to grow Lyft’s Citi Bike options and bring more safety and joy to bike riding,” Zimmer said.
Lyft’s team spent two years developing the new e-bike, including a sleeker look, a smooth motor and improved ergonomics to accommodate all riders. These new bikes, now available in the Astoria Houses area, will also feature a built-in speaker system, new lighting effects and improved safety features like retroreflective paint.
As the new e-bikes slowly get introduced throughout the city, Reduced Fare Bikeshare riders, Citi Bike members and Lyft Pink members will all get early access to the new fleet. Lyft is also offering a 15-day free trial for those who aren’t already members.
“Citi Bike e-bikes have become the first choice of riders, especially Reduced Fare Bikeshare members like those at Astoria Houses, who often choose e-bikes over classic bikes, especially when going longer distances, between boroughs or in neighborhoods with limited transit access,” said Citi Bike General Manager Laura Fox.
Citi Bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to another in the system, making them easy to use on a commute to work, school or running errands. A single trip costs $3.50 for 30 minutes. Riders who use an e-bike will pay an extra 18 cents per minute.
According to Lyft, the e-bikes are designed to need fewer repairs and battery swaps, which will help them withstand thousands of riders and brutal New York winters.
New York City Council member Tiffany Cabán said that the new e-bikes will make biking easier for those that utilize Citi Bikes.
“Citi Bike’s new e-bikes will make biking more accessible to more of our neighbors, so we’re excited to welcome them to District 22,” Cabán said. “This will move the needle on street safety, the environment, and our neighborhoods’ quality of life. I applaud this expansion and look forward to riding one of the e-bikes myself soon.”
Citi Bike launched in 2013 with 6,000 bikes at hundreds of stations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Now, there are over 100,000 members using bike share.