NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Get ready for the amount of Citi Bikes to triple across all five boroughs. On Thursday the company announced it’ll grow from 12,000 to 40,000 bikes over the next five years, and not everyone’s happy about it.
It’s an expansion so large, officials say it’ll make the Citi Bike system one of the largest in the world. Lyft, which purchased the company which operates Citi Bike, is injecting $100 million to go big.
“That means roughly doubling the service area, 35 square miles, and tripling the number of bikes to nearly 40,000,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
In terms of location, officials say the stations will only go in neighborhoods that don’t already have Citi Bike.
“I know other council members in Brooklyn and Queens want to see some of their neighborhoods built out, there’s been a desire on the south shore of Staten Island and up in the Bronx,” Trottenberg said.
Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez didn’t waste any time lobbying.
“First I want Washington Heights, second (I want) north Manhattan to be one of the destinations,” he said.
So will the plan spell more bike lanes and fewer parking spaces to make way for docking stations? Not necessarily, says Lyft.
“I think there are plenty of side streets already safe for biking,” spokesperson Julie Wood said.
Advocate group Transportation Alternatives says it’s par for the course.
“Every parking space that’s turned into a Citi Bike rack, it’ll park eight bikes used on an avenue seven times a day,” Director of Advocacy Thomas DeVito said. “That’s a more efficient use of that space.”
New Yorkers who spoke with CBS2 offered mixed opinions on the plan, of which the city says it’ll have more details in the coming months. Meanwhile, Trottenberg vowed to minimize the amount of parking spaces which would be lost and says the DOT will work with local community boards to pinpoint the best locations for new docks.