Citi Bike unveiled plans to expand deeper into Brooklyn, eventually reaching neighborhoods that are currently under-served or not covered at all, the company announced on Tuesday.
But, slow your roll before you get too excited: It will take up to five years before "the nation's largest bike-share system will come to a larger and more economically diverse range of communities," officials said.
Last November, the city announced that Citi Bike will invest $100 million for a massive expansion to double its coverage area and expand its discounted memberships for low-income New Yorkers over the next five years. According to the agreement, the bike-sharing company will more than triple in size to nearly 40,000 bicycles and expand by 35 square miles over five years, more than doubling the size of the current service area.
This five-year expansion will take place in three phases, as Citi Biki revealed. Earlier this year, Citi Bike has begun expanding with 25 new stations along the L-train corridor in East Williamsburg and Bushwick. In the months ahead, the company said, it will add more stations in these neighborhoods, a move Bushwick Councilmember Antonio Reynoso welcomes.
"New Yorkers have come to rely on Citi bike as an invaluable part of our transit network," said Reynoso. "Citi bike helps fill in the gaps in our city's subway and bus systems and offers riders a convenient, environmentally-friendly way to commute or simply get from place to place. All New Yorkers should have access to Citi bike and its myriad benefits regardless of socio-economic status or where they live."
Next, Citi Bike will expand into the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan, before entering its third phase in 2020 that will bring the service to 11 Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights and East Flatbush.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called the expansion "long overdue," but also asked the city to provide the proper infrastructure to keep cyclists safe, especially in the wake of the recent wave of fatal accidents that, so far, have killed 15 NYC cyclists this year.
"The expansion of Citi Bike into more low-income communities and communities of color is a long-overdue step in delivering transit equity for all New Yorkers," said Adams. "But it must also be accompanied by safe cycling infrastructure, so we ensure that everyone can share our streets without fear of being injured or killed."