The Bronx will be riding in style as Citi Bike announced that it will soon be peddling into the borough and other parts of the city on Tuesday, July 16.
As part of the planned expansion agreement with the Mayor de Blasio Administration, the new cycle of docked bike rentals will be coming to Mott Haven, Melrose, Port Morris, Highbridge, Claremont, Morrisania, Longwood, Concourse and Mount Eden within the next five years.
“I am so excited that the Bronx will finally be included in the Citi Bike program, which has already become an important part of New York City’s transportation grid,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. after the announcement was made on the steps of the Bronx County Building.
Afterwards, he took a test ride with officials of the NYC Department of Transportation and Citi Bike up and down the Grand Concourse to celebrate the two-wheeled milestone.
“Connecting our borough to the Citi Bike network will empower so many Bronxites to travel outside their neighborhood for job opportunities, cultural events and to visit friends and family,” Diaz continued.
The borough president has also long imagined developing a Bronx greenway along the Major Deegan interstate that would bring a connecting bicycle trail uptown from the Hudson Valley, which Citi Bikes would be ideal for.
Citi Bike also announced a sponsored $300,000 expansion grant program for local non-profits to grow bike share ridership in the soon-to-be expanded neighborhoods in addition to a new, three-wheeled handcycle pilot program for those with disabilities.
Those low to the ground, hand-controlled and adaptive handicap accessible bicycles also hit the road during the Bronx joyride.
According to the city announcement, they’re also for cyclists that aren’t so graceful on two wheels.
“It is my hope that we can quickly accelerate this growth to ensure that every neighborhood have access to innovative and affordable alternatives,” Assemblyman Marcos Crespo said after the announcement.
“As the Bronx continues to grow and prosper, so must our transportation options,” he continued mentioning that the long overdue initiative could quickly accelerate neighborhood growth throughout the south Bronx.
The new opportunity for this affordable transportation alternative was made possible through an agreement between the city and Lyft that solidified a $100 million investment from the mobile rideshare giant last November.
As part of the planned expansion, riders can now rent a Citi Bike through the Lyft app as well.
“With double the territory and triple the number of bikes over the next few years, Citi Bike will become an even better option for travel around New York City,” de Blasio said, mentioning that the “expansion will help us build a more fair and equitable city for all New Yorkers.”
These new bike docks will be installed by 2020 and fully operational by 2023 to compliment the over 13,000 two wheelers at nearly 800 stations, according to the mayor’s office.
During the fall, community boards representing neighborhoods receiving these bikes will first begin to determine where to put the new docking stations.