Citi Bike is growing, with new partners and a new CEO to lead its expansion.
Alta Bicycle Share, operator of Citi Bike, announced Monday that Jay Walder, former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will take over as CEO. According to Crain’s New York Business, besides announcing the appointment of Mr. Walden, Alta, plagued by financial problems since launching the NYC based bike-share program last year, has been acquired by a new entity, Bikeshare Holdings, a partnership between fitness chain Equinox, real estate developer Related Cos. and Jonathan Schulhof, a private investor.
These developments will be welcome news to locals bicyclists. With 90,000 annual members and 641,000-plus short-term passes resulting in more than 14 million trips since May 2013, the system—currently centered in lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn—has proven popular with tourists and many, though not all, New Yorkers.
Local Brooklyn residents, including the co-op board of 150 Joralemon Street in the Heights, filed unsuccessful lawsuits in 2013 to block the location of Citi Bike stations on select streets. There have also been numerous sitings in the Heights of Citi Bike thefts, including an effort by a local resident to thwart would-be bike thieves.
The expansion of hundreds of new stations throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens does come with a cost; annual memberships fees will increase to $149 from the current $95.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for one lauded Citi Bike’s long-awaited expansion plans.
“As an avid Citi Bike rider, I am thrilled to see that bike share will ‘keep on rolling’ in New York City,” Mr. Adams said. “We cannot underestimate the impact that this initiative has had on multiple facets of our daily life, improving our environment and public health while providing New Yorkers an easy alternative to getting from Point A to Point B.”
Looking to identify the most bike-friendly neighborhoods, the New York City Department of Transportation is offering local residents the ability to have a say in where new Citi Bank stations are installed. To suggest a new location visit the NYCDOT’s “Suggest A Station” siting portal.
“The expansion to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Greenpoint and Williamsburg next year will further enhance our borough, as will the upcoming growth in Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Red Hook,” said Mr. Adams, who has been a proponent of fitness for borough residents. “Citi Bike is moving in the right direction, pedaling towards progress.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Velojoy.com