The Blue Bikes Are Coming
Greenpointers, get your helmets ready. The bicycle share company, Citi Bike, is doubling in size and Greenpoint is one of the first places on the list to receive the new bikes.
6,000 bikes will be added at 375 new locations by 2017. The expansion will begin in 2015 with station installations happening in northern Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Long Island City, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. 1,000 new bikes are expected to be in service next year.
While popular, Citi Bike hasn’t been without it’s share of problems since it’s inception in May 2013. The initial rollout was delayed a year because of software issues and damage to bikes after Hurricane Sandy. There have also been complaints of broken docks and kiosks as well as cracked seats. A lawsuit has even been filed about the bike designs. But none of this stopped 100,000 people from signing up for the ride-share program and riding 14.7 million miles in it’s first year.
In late October, Citi Bike got a new CEO and a new parent company. The new head of the company is Jay Walder who previously ran the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and the new parent company is REQX Ventures which among other things, owns the Equinox gyms.
Another change that might not make some people too happy – a fare increase. Yearly membership is going from $95 to $149, while the $60 rate for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will remain unchanged.
No exact timeline is available, but it is clear Greenpoint will be one of the first neighborhoods to benefit from the expansion. Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, and Gowanus are also slated to get kiosks.
As someone who’s been putting off buying a bike for my entire 4 years living in Brooklyn I’ll definitely give them a try, although I doubt I’ll be able to get very far in the allotted half hour you can ride one. Are other Greenpointers excited about the blue bikes coming to the ‘hood? Has anyone taken a Citi Bike out for a ride?