Friday, October 31, 2014

NYC Citi Bike Share Program Expands To More Neighborhoods Including Long Island City, Williamsburg & Greenpoint - But No Mention Of Roosevelt Island

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and Citi Bike announced earlier this week an expansion of the bike sharing program to more NYC neighborhoods. According to Cit Bike:

... Our system will double in size by 2017. New neighborhoods will be added to our system beginning in 2015. By the end of 2017 we will have 6,000 additional bikes and over 375 new stations. The first new stations will be installed in northern Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Long Island City and further into Bedford-Stuyvesant, all neighborhoods originally planned to be part of Citi Bike’s initial deployment. If you would like to suggest a new location for Citi Bike stations, visit the Department of Transportations’s “Suggest A Station” siting portal at and stay tuned for news about other ways to get involved....
A DOT October 28 Press Release adds:
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Alta Bicycle Share incoming CEO Jay Walder, and Citi Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs Edward Skyler today announced an agreement between the City of New York and Alta Bicycle Share to operate, improve, and double the size of the largest bike share program in North America. A $30 million infusion of private capital from Bikeshare Holdings LLC, a group of private investors acquiring Alta, supported by an increased sponsorship commitment from Citi of up to $70.5 million extended through 2024, and a $15 million increase in the credit facility from the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group will allow for the expansion and ensure the long-term stability of the system, making it more reliable and accessible for the thousands of New Yorkers who rely upon it. New Yorkers currently take more than one million trips every month on Citi Bike.

The Citi Bike system, which will continue to be operated by NYC Bike Share (NYCBS), a subsidiary of Alta, will be expanded from the current system of 330 stations and 6,000 bikes to over 700 stations and 12,000 bikes by the end of 2017. Citi Bike will stretch further out into Brooklyn, into Harlem, and bring bikes to Queens for the first time.

The agreement with the City also calls for service enhancements to the system’s operations for Citi Bike’s tens of thousands of riders, including upgrades to the software and technology that helps operate the bike share system.

These enhancements will be made possible by the investment from Bikeshare Holdings LLC, a newly-formed venture of individuals that include Harvey Spevak, CEO of Equinox®, Jeff Blau, CEO of Related Companies, and Jonathan Schulhof, a private investor who led the transaction. Bikeshare Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire Alta and recruited Jay Walder, the former Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and an internationally-renowned leader in public transit, to serve as the incoming CEO of Alta.

The system will continue to operate as a privately funded program and Citi has agreed to increase its sponsorship contribution by $70.5 million dollars and extend it through 2024 while the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group has increased and extended its loan facility to help fund the program’s enhancement and expansion. The expansion was also made possible by a $5 million investment from The Partnership Fund for New York City to Bikeshare Holdings LLC to support the program’s growth into underserved communities in Brooklyn, Queens and Upper Manhattan.

“This is about delivering the bike share program New Yorkers expect and deserve. We believe in Citi Bike’s potential as a fixture of New York City’s public transit system. It can make our neighborhoods more accessible, help us achieve our sustainability goals, and bridge inequities in our transportation network. To achieve all that, bike share has to be reliable and responsive to community’s needs. Today, after tremendous efforts across our administration, we can say we have the management and the support in place to fulfill that mission. It’s a good day for New Yorkers who rely on Citi Bike, and for neighborhoods and riders that have eagerly awaited its expansion,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio....
Click here for the full DOT Press Release.

Roosevelt Island is not included in the Citi Bike neighborhood expansion for phase 11

 Image From DOT

or phase 111 Potential Expansion.

I asked Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato:
The Dep't of Transportation and new bike sharing owner announced yesterday expansion of the system to Long Island City, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bed Stuy.

Roosevelt Island was not mentioned as a new location for bike sharing.

Any comment on when Roosevelt Island will be getting bike sharing?

Also, since Long Island City is getting bike sharing, is it possible to get a station located at the foot of the Roosevelt Island Bridge on 36th Avenue in Long Island City? That would be useful for Roosevelt Island.
 Image Of Intersection Of Roosevelt Island Bridge, Vernon B'lvd and 36th Ave in LIC

Mr. Kallos replied:
1,000 new bikes will come into use next year; 7,000 by 2017. The Council Member hopes to get as many CitiBike stations as possible into our district and to Roosevelt Island in the upcoming years.

We'll pass along your request to the relevant agencies.
Here's Google Map of intersection

View Larger Map

The NYC Planning Department Western Queens Transportation Study recommended installing a bicycle sharing station at the top

of the Roosevelt Island Bridge helix.

UPDATE 2:15 PM - RIOC President Charlene Indelicato adds:
RIOC strongly believes in increasing the amount of bike safety education and amenities available on Roosevelt Island, and we are pleased with the current state of our successful partnership with Bike New York. However, the Island's infrastructure is not currently ready to handle a large increase in cyclist traffic. Before bike sharing can come to the Island, a master plan for the implementation of bike paths and traffic infrastructure that can accommodate cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in our community needs to be designed and implemented. We plan to work with private entities such as Cornell Tech in order to create this plan and look forward to putting an innovative, inclusive strategy in place.

When it comes to bike sharing in Queens, RIOC's focus is primarily trained on preparing Roosevelt Island for a possible future station. Therefore, we will not be advocating for a docking station near the entrance of the Roosevelt Island Bridge at 36th Avenue at this time.