New York City’s Citi Bike program is getting a facelift, thanks to a new contract with Lyft. The deal, which was announced in November 2023, will double the number of electric bikes in the system, add new stations in underserved neighborhoods, and lower the cost of annual memberships.
But the new contract also has some drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t include any new funding for bike share expansion, and it doesn’t bring bike share to Staten Island or other underserved areas.
So what do we get — and don’t get — in the new Citi Bike deal? Here’s a breakdown:
What we get:
- Twice as many e-bikes: Citi Bike’s current fleet of 10,000 e-bikes will be doubled to 20,000 under the new contract. This is a major win for riders, as e-bikes have become increasingly popular in recent years.
- New stations in underserved neighborhoods: Citi Bike will add new stations in underserved neighborhoods, including East Harlem, the Bronx, and Queens. This will help to make bike share more accessible to all New Yorkers.
- Lower cost of annual memberships: The cost of an annual Citi Bike membership will drop from $169 to $150. This will make bike share more affordable for New Yorkers who use it regularly.
What we don’t get:
- New funding for bike share expansion: The new Citi Bike contract doesn’t include any new funding for bike share expansion. This means that the system will not be able to grow to new neighborhoods in the near future.
- Bike share on Staten Island: Citi Bike will not be expanding to Staten Island under the new contract. This is a disappointment for Staten Islanders, who have been advocating for bike share for years.
- Other underserved areas: Citi Bike will also not be expanding to other underserved areas, such as Bay Ridge and parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. This is another missed opportunity to make bike share more accessible to all New Yorkers.
Overall, the new Citi Bike deal is a mixed bag. It’s good to see that Lyft is investing in the system and adding more e-bikes and stations. However, it’s disappointing that the city is not providing any new funding for bike share expansion, and that the system will not be expanding to Staten Island or other underserved areas.
What can we do?
If you’re disappointed with any of the shortcomings of the new Citi Bike deal, there are a few things you can do:
- Contact your elected officials and let them know that you support bike share expansion.
- Join a local bike advocacy group and help them to advocate for better bike infrastructure and access to bike share.
- Vote for candidates who support bike share and other sustainable transportation options.
By working together, we can make bike share more accessible to all New Yorkers and create a more sustainable and livable city.