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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The country’s largest bike sharing system will launch in New York City next spring.
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Because of damage to bike share equipment caused by Hurricane Sandy, Citi Bike will launch in May 2013 with at least 5,500 bikes at 293 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the New York City Department of Transportation and bike share operator New York City Bike Share (NYCBS) said Friday.
Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge flooded NYCBS’s facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where about two-thirds of the system’s equipment had been stored before the Oct. 29 storm.
While bike frames and hardware were not significantly damaged, many parts of the system containing electrical components must have individual parts refurbished or replaced, DOT officials said.
“DOT has worked around the clock to restore vital transportation links following the storm and that includes putting Citi Bike on the road to recovery,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “Despite the damage, New York will have the nation’s largest bike share system up and running this spring.”
The new timeline will not impact the $41 million in private funding from Citi to underwrite the system, the DOT said.
While planning is under way to launch the initial system in May, the DOT and NYCBS said it remains committed to bringing the system to 10,000 bikes.
More details will be announced as planning continues.