In response to the clear call for Citi Bike in the borough during the Mayor’s visit to the Bronx last week, a coalition of more than 14 community organizations launched this week to ensure that the City speedily delivers Citi Bike to all five boroughs, including the Bronx. Spearheaded by Transportation Alternatives, a top advocacy group working to promote bicycling, walking and public transit, the coalition has already gathered 4,017 petitions for a five-borough Citi Bike, including 1,700 in the Bronx alone—as well as letters, calls and more.
“We need Citi Bike urgently—not just in our city’s commercial center but in all five boroughs,” said Caroline Samponaro, Deputy Director at Transportation Alternatives. “Citi Bike is a healthy, safe, green and equitable form of transportation which saves New Yorkers money on transit and connects residents to commercial corridors across our city. It’s time now for the system to grow to scale, to give all New Yorkers better access to this high-quality transportation.”
Coalition members include over a dozen Bronx houses of worship, as well as Bronx Health REACH, BronxWorks, and the HUB Third Avenue Business Improvement District.
“Bringing Citi Bike to the Bronx is a moral imperative,” said Reverend Ricardo Fajardo, Pastor of Holy Spirit Church on 1940 University Avenue, and a new #CitiBike4All coalition member. “This city resource should be available to all New Yorkers, regardless of where they live or how much they earn. Citi Bike saves New Yorkers money on their transportation costs; improves access to downtown shopping districts and other forms of transit; and gets New Yorkers moving. The Bronx would benefit from Citi Bike, and it’s time we had access.”
Citi Bike launched in May 2013 with 6,000 bikes at 332 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. By the end of 2017, Citi Bike will have doubled in size, with 12,000 bikes at 700 stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Since Citi Bike’s launch, annual membership has grown to more than 115,000.
According to an article published in Politico, as well as comments made by NYC DOT Commissioner Trottenberg during the City Council Executive Budget hearing, Motivate and the City are in discussions about how the operator can bear the cost of expanding Citi Bike within the next year with no public funding. #CitiBike4ALL supports the proposal and urges the City to reach an agreement in a timely manner.
Since its inception in 2013, Citi Bike has become an integral part of New York City’s transportation network, and expansion to all five boroughs is necessary to ensure it can be an even more effective and equitable mode choice. Citi Bike is popular as well: According to a Penn Schoen Berland and Transportation Alternatives poll in November 2016, 71% of likely New York City voters support Citi Bike expansion into all five boroughs. The City Council, in its formal response to the Fiscal Year 2018 Preliminary Budget, asserted that Citi Bike has the potential to “resolve the problem of transit and health inequity for New Yorkers of all backgrounds.”