Photo courtesy of Lyft
It may soon be easier to bike between two waterfront New Jersey cities. Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced on Wednesday plans to roll out a joint bike share program run by Citi Bike that will be compatible in both neighborhoods. Previously, the neighboring cities had agreements with two separate bike-share companies, which gave riders traveling between the areas nowhere to dock. Members of the program will be able to rent Citi Bikes in New York at no additional cost.
Citi Bike was already operating in Jersey City. Hoboken has Jersey Bike, which also operates in Bayonne, Weehawken, and West New York.
The Hoboken-Jersey City bike share system will include 800 bikes at 82 stations, making it one of the largest of its kind in the eastern U.S., according to a press release. Lyft, which operates Citi Bike, will add two new stations on the south side of Jersey City and upgrade 51 existing stations.
The company will install 30 new stations in Hoboken with an expansion planned for 2021. Overall, the city will feature 95 stations and 1,000 bikes. Pedal-assist electric bikes will make up 40 percent of the shared fleet.
“This system will provide an integrated transportation option between Hoboken and Jersey City that is safe, affordable and convenient for residents, which is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bhalla said in a press release. “Not only will Citi Bike provide for improved connectivity between our two cities but will also allow Hoboken residents to now utilize Citi Bike in New York City with one membership.”
The new system has to be approved by both City Councils but is expected to launch this fall. The agreement with Citi Bike says 5 percent of annual ridership revenue above $2 million will be distributed evenly between the two cities.
Bikes have proven to be a popular mode of transportation during the pandemic as commuters look for alternatives to public transit. Citi Bike, which celebrated its 100 millionth ride last month, has plans to expand in New York City and beyond even further by doubling its footprint and adding new stations in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.
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