Citi Bike doubles its service area and more than triples the size of its fleet over the next five years, city officials said Thursday. The "vast majority" of the new bikes – about 30,000 of them – will be electric-powered electric bicycles, said a Lyft employee at Gothamist.
This major expansion comes four months after the acquisition of Motivate, a company that owns and operates Citi Bike. As part of this agreement, the hail giant has agreed to pay $ 100 million to "improve and strengthen" the system. It is unclear exactly where this current service area will be expanded, but the authorities promise an increase of 35 square miles in the five boroughs over the next five years.
"New York City is one of the world's great cycling cities and is about to get better," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who will not attend today's press conference. in a statement. "This expansion means that tens of thousands of New Yorkers will have a quick and inexpensive way to get around their city."
Interestingly, de Blasio omits this press conference with good news, probably because it's not to say how good it is with Citi's pedal-assisted electric bikes, but not with the electronic accelerator bikes deliverymen of immigrants.
– Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) November 29, 2018
Caroline Samponaro, responsible for policies for bicycles, scooters and pedestrians at Lyft (and former Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives), told Gothamist that the extension was a "timely way to get people to ride a bike and get out of the car. " She highlighted the success of electric bikes, twice as popular as conventional models. "This opens the possibility of cycling to a larger group of New Yorkers, which is also interesting from an equity perspective," Samponaro said.
A Lyft spokesman pointed out that part of the $ 100 million investment would go to more resources and staff to exchange batteries on electric bikes, which seem mostly dead. The company also plans to introduce new models of pedal assistance in the coming years.
Earlier this year, the city was committed to adding 2,500 mooring points and 1,000 pedal-assist bikes on each side of the Williamsburg Bridge to create a "new" temporary "shuttle" service before the stop of the L-train. But New Yorkers criticized the slow pace of expansion and the city council member, Rafael Espinal, called on the DOT to ensure that Citi Bikes was added to Bushwick and to other neighborhoods along the L corridor before closure.
"Bridging these shortcomings and taking a long time ahead of service closure are Lyft's priorities," Samponaro said. She added that the city would immediately start committing community boards and that "New Yorkers should expect system improvements and system expansion in 2019."
However, not everyone is excited about this new expansion. A spokesman for Uber, which operates the self-service bike company Jump, expressed disappointment that Citi Bike continues to retain its exclusive right to the extended service area. "After five years of activity in New York's richer communities, Citi Bike is now asking for five more years to grow and still is not committed to serving all New Yorkers," said the Alix Anfang spokesperson at the Wall Street Journal.
"The city should work with all parties to ensure access to all who wish to ride a bike to move in their communities – not a company that has long left New Yorkers from outside the neighborhood stranded. . "