Early voting at the Brooklyn Museum; © 6sqft
While over three million New Yorkers, including over one million residents in New York City, have already cast their ballots during the nine-day early voting period, millions more are expected to show up to vote on Tuesday. To help both voters and poll workers deal with possible long wait times and overall stress this Election Day, a number of companies are offering deals and freebies on November 3, from discounted rides to the polls to free food delivery.
Photo courtesy of Lyft
Citi Bike’s popular pedal-assist fleet has returned to New York City, nearly a year after the company pulled them from service because of a safety issue. The bike-share company, operated by Lyft, announced on Wednesday plans to start rolling out “several hundred” e-bikes, which will be available to rent at the nearly 900 Citi Bike stations found across the city.
Rockaway Avenue subway station in Brownsville. Image via Wikimedia cc.
Car hire company Lyft has announced that it will expand its Grocery Access Program to New York City. The program, first launched in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, aims to provide access to healthy foods to residents who don’t live near full-service grocery stores and farmers markets. Lyft, in partnership with GrowNYC and BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers, will launch the program in NYC by improving access to healthy food options for low-income residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
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Image via Flickr
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of its Reduced Fare Bike Share program, Citi Bike is now offering a free month of membership to NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients, amNY reports. The reduced fare program aims to increase accessibility to the popular bike share—which received criticism for its initial rollout in more affluent NYC neighborhoods—by offering no-commitment $5 monthly memberships for any NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients. The program has 3,400 active riders, just a small fraction of Citi Bike’s 150,000 annual members.
The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on Wednesday to extend the cap on for-hire vehicle licenses for one year and reduce the time drivers can travel without passengers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The cap on licenses, the first of its kind in the country, was first introduced last year as part of a pilot program aimed at regulating the growing for-hire vehicle industry as well as reducing traffic and pollution.
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Citi Bike has revealed details for the much-anticipated rollout of the popular bike share program with plans to double its reach with docks in the Bronx and more of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. But according to maps and information released in a Tuesday morning meeting obtained by Streetsblog, large swaths of the city won’t see the blue bikes for four more years. As the NY Post reported, some see the Citi Bike rollout as heavily weighted toward more affluent NYC districts, which prompted a letter from several New York City Council members to the NYC Department of Transportation asking for assurance that expansion plans include low-income neighborhoods.
Where will the next blue bikes be?
As the city’s for-hire vehicles (FHVs) rack up nearly 800,000 rides per day, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced on Wednesday the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s new plan to extend last year’s cap on for-hire vehicle licenses, the New York Post reports. A second cap will be placed on the length of time FHVs can let their cars cruise the city without passengers in the most congested part of Manhattan, below 96th Street. Last August, the city also suspended the issuance of new licenses. The new policies are expected to increase driver salaries by about 20 percent and make traffic in Manhattan below 60th Street six to 10 percent faster.
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To celebrate Black History Month, ride-hailing company Lyft is offering one free ride to black-owned businesses, history museums, and memorials in New York City. According to the company, 82 percent of Lyft drivers identify with a minority group, which makes the company “see the importance of celebrating the diversity that we have right around us.”
Roughly 80,000 for-hire vehicle drivers in New York City are expected to get a pay raise next year. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on Tuesday voted to secure a minimum wage for drivers with ride-hailing companies, including Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno, making New York the first city in the world to do so. Going into effect in 30 days, the new rule mandates a minimum wage of $17.22 per hour, after expenses. That hourly rate is equivalent to the city’s employee minimum wage of $15 per hour, which will be set at the end of this year.
Just in time for the L train shutdown, the city is getting more bike-friendly. Lyft, the car-sharing company that bought the Citi Bike‘s operator Motivate, will invest $100 million to dramatically expand the program, according to an announcement from Mayor Bill de Blasio. The fleet of Citi Bikes will triple from 12,000 now to 40,000 over the next five years and cover an area more than twice its current size. The investment will also add more electric bikes, which Citi Bike began to roll out in the summer, boost the $5 discount membership program for NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients, and help repair existing bikes and infrastructure.
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