Photo via mamojo
Four outer-borough neighborhoods undeserved by Citi Bike will host dockless bike-share programs this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. In July, the city’s pilot kicks off in the beach communities of Coney Island and the Rockaways. The Bronx and Staten Island will also have the bike-share program, a first for both boroughs, near Fordham University and on the North Shore. “We are bringing new, inexpensive transportation options to neighborhoods that need them,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Dockless public bike sharing starts this summer, and we’re excited to see how New Yorkers embrace this new service.”
As part of the trial-run, the city will deploy the bikes on a rolling basis, with the goal of 200 bikes in total within the four catchment areas. Some of the dockless bikes will be pedal-assist electric bikes. Last month, de Blasio moved to change city law to allow these types of bikes to operate legally.
The bike-share program will not require physical docking stations, as Citi Bike currently does. Users will be able to rent bikes through a mobile device, with each ride costing between $1 and $2.
During the pilot, the city’s Department of Transportation will evaluate the safety, availability and durability of the bikes. In the fall, DOT will figure out whether to extend or discontinue the program based on feedback and performance.
The city’s pilot comes after a Result for Expressions of Interest issued by DOT last year that sought ideas for dockless public bike share systems. According to the mayor’s office, 12 dockless companies responded to the RFEI. Citi Bike will still be supported by the city, with the pilot program running outside of Citi Bike areas.
There remains a high demand for more bike-share programs in the city. Commuting via cycling has grown nearly twice as fast in New York City than in other major cities, growing 70 percent growth compared to a 37 percent growth in peer cities. Plus, a staggering 16.3 million Citi Bike trips were taken in 2017.
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- With bicycle ridership up, city will add 60+ miles of bike lanes a year