Southern Brooklyn Desires Citi Bike! – Streetsblog New York Metropolis
The planet is warming, however there’s one factor that’s nonetheless glacial: the tempo of Citi Bike enlargement.
This week, two Council Members from Southern Brooklyn received fed up — once more! — and demanded — once more! — that the Division of Transportation convey Citi Bike to neighborhoods akin to Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Bensonhurst and Gravesend that aren’t a part of the current Citi Bike expansion plan through 2023.
There’s no indication that constituents of Council Members Justin Brannan and Mark Treyger — who despatched a pointed letter to the DOT on Tuesday — will ever get Citi Bike, which each see as a vital want of their districts. As they wrote (full letter embedded beneath):
Our districts embody transit deserts, which lack dependable entry to transit even in regular occasions, and a number of the worst performing traces within the subway system. These of our constituents who stay in neighborhoods like Bathtub Seaside, or the West Finish of Coney Island, proceed to undergo from a disparate lack of public transit entry. Many people is not going to stay to see the day that the subway system extends to these neighborhoods, or considerably improves efficiency, however we will instantly develop entry by connecting our neighborhoods to the Citi Bike community.
Um, no, you truly can’t.
As we’ve got lengthy reported, Citi Bike’s 2019-2023 enlargement (photograph proper) contains essential sections of The Bronx, Higher Manhattan and Queens which have lengthy been disenfranchised from this important type of public transportation, however nearly the entire Brooklyn neighborhoods south of the Inexperienced-Wooden Cemetery are out of luck — that means that Citi Bike, which launched in 2013, will nonetheless not cowl half the town inside 10 years.
The council members put their newest request within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed weaknesses in different hyperlinks within the transportation community, as many subway and bus prospects shifted to different modes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that whereas mass transit is crucial to getting individuals to work, it falls in need of being the answer for all New Yorkers — particularly throughout a citywide disaster,” they wrote
Citi Bike was one of many brilliant spots throughout the pandemic, with ridership that stayed robust, as Streetsblog reported. As well as, the Lyft-owned firm offered memberships to important staff during the crisis. That program reportedly cost the company $1 million.
Each different type of public transit and public transportation — together with the mayor’s beloved ferry system, which has far fewer customers than Citi Bike (and is used by richer people than different types of transit) — is backed by authorities funding.
How a lot would a very citywide Citi Bike system price? Final 12 months, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg priced it at $400 million. Up to now, the Council has declined to mandate it, however momentum is likely to be rising, if Treyger and Brannan (and other council members) are any indication.
“We all know that this dialogue [to expand Citi Bike] has been an ongoing one through the years, however new circumstances make the necessity more and more pressing,” the wrote. “We implore you to work with us, and to grant our neighborhoods entry to this useful program.”
It’s not the primary time Brannan has demanded entry to primary biking. Practically two years in the past, he argued in the Daily News that if Citi Bike wouldn’t develop to Bay Ridge and different southern Brooklyn areas, different corporations, which then included dockless bike giants Soar and Lime, ought to be allowed to function. However within the subsequent years, many dockless corporations have failed, leaving Citi Bike as the one actual citywide choice.
The DOT declined to remark for this story or present the company’s response to the letter.
For its half, Citi Bike placed on a blue helmet to match its blue bikes.
“As I do know you realize, this ball is in DOT’s courtroom — they determine the place stations go and when,” stated firm spokeswoman Julie Wooden.