By Penny Laughlin
On July 16, 2019, the de Blasio administration and Lyft announced the planned boundaries for the Citi Bike program over the next five years. Funded by a $100 million investment by Lyft, the expansion will double the size of the program’s service area and triple the number of bicycles. The third phase of the expansion will extend the Citi Bike program throughout Manhattan, expand the service in Queens and Brooklyn, and bring Citi Bike to the Bronx.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined administration officials at the Bronx County Courthouse, where Citi Bank announced a $300,000 expansion grant program. Sponsored by Healthfirst, the community grant program will support local non-profits in growing bike-share ridership in lower-income neighborhoods.
In addition, CitiBank is teaming up with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to launch a handcycle pilot program. These three-wheeled, hand-controlled vehicles are designed for people who don’t know how or are physically unable to ride two-wheeled bicycles. DOT will bring a fleet of handcycles to community-based events throughout the city all summer, including Weekend Walks and Summer Streets. Participation is free, and anyone 18 and older is encouraged to take a test ride.
Citi Bike has started the expansion by installing 25 stations in East Williamsburg and Bushwick, along the L-train corridor. More stations are planned for these neighborhoods and in Ridgewood, Queens, in the months ahead.
Community board consultation will begin this fall in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx, with new stations scheduled for 2020.
The Phase 3 expansion plans will depend upon Lyft meeting specific milestones in providing New Yorkers with a high-quality service. Already, the transportation network company has increased the bike-share fleet to more than 13,000 bicycles and expanded the number of valet stations to more than 40 different locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.