It's CitiBike's biggest expansion yet, doubling its footprint to 70 square miles and tripling its fleet of bicycles to 40,000 by the end of 2023.
“In the past six years, this system has grown and thrived. We’re thrilled now to join with our partners at Lyft and announce the next phase of expansion,” said Polly Trottenberg, the Transportation Commissioner.
The rollout will be done in stages, beginning with docking stations in Ridgewood, Queens, as part of a previously planned expansion along the L train line.
Next year docks will be installed through the rest of Manhattan and in the south Bronx.
And a third phase will bring the bike-sharing program deeper into the boroughs, including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush and Sunset Park in Brooklyn, and Sunnyside, Maspeth, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona in Queens.
Parent company Lyft will spend $100 million on the expansion, which follows years of criticism CitiBikes that was too focused on more upscale and less diverse areas of the city.
Until now, coverage has been limited to Manhattan south of 130th Street and neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens near the East River.
“Biking is connected more to middle and upper class,” said City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. “We have an opportunity to connect working class.”
A new report by New York Communities for Change found that more than 75% of New Yorkers did not have access to CitiBike and that, of those who lacked access, 84% are people of color and 75% live in neighborhoods of extreme poverty. The hope is that this expansion will change that.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said one New Yorker on the street. “I say go for it. I use it all the time and it’s very convenient.”
One cyclist, however, did express concern that wider access to CitiBike could mean more novice riders on the road.
“There needs to be more training for people to learn how to ride these CitiBike’s,” the man said.
Officials say the exact locations for new CitiBike docking stations will be determined after receiving input from local community boards.
Already the nation’s largest bike sharing program, the CitiBike expansion will make it one of the top three largest bike sharing systems in the world.