August 20, 2018
Citi Bike will start integrating 200 pedal-assist bikes into its fleet of 12,000 bikes; By next year, 1,000 pedal-assist Citi Bikes will assist in the L train disruption as part of a Williamsburg Bridge “shuttle” service
BROOKLYN––Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Citi Bike is introducing 200 pedal assist bicycles into its fleet. City Hall staff celebrated with an inaugural ride with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and City Bike representatives, who rode the new bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge from City Hall to Brooklyn Borough Hall for City Hall in Your Borough. The Administration had previously announced that pedal-assist Citi Bikes, which provide an electric boost that make it easier to climb hills and travel longer distances, would play a critical role in next year’s L train tunnel closure.
“What better way for my team to roll out their hard work in Kings County this week than by having them start with a bicycle ride over the beautiful, iconic Brooklyn Bridge,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we’re already learning this summer from our dockless pilot, which has brought bike share – including pedal-assist bikes – to new neighborhoods across the City, New Yorkers have really taken to their ease and convenience. We thank Citi Bike for helping to be part of the solution to next year’s L train challenges.”
“Today’s pedal-assist bike ride signifies a new era of cycling for New Yorkers who love Citi Bike,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Cycling is not only fun, it’s an affordable, healthy and sustainable way of getting around – and on pedal-assist bikes, it is even faster and easier. Citi Bike members who find these new bikes will quickly see why these bikes will prove so important in next year’s L train tunnel disruption, as we work to move even more New Yorkers over the East River on two wheels.”
“As an avid cyclist, it’s great to roll into City Hall’s week in Brooklyn on two wheels, with an assist from our new pedal-assist Citi Bikes. This safe and eco-friendly mode of transportation has been particularly useful for immigrant workers and seniors across the five boroughs, and its inclusion in our bike share program helps make us a more inclusive city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Not only will pedal-assist bicycles play a meaningful role in mitigating the impact of the L train shutdown, it will expand the accessibility and attractiveness of biking in New York City.”
In June, Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Transportation announced that the city had reached an agreement with Motivate, the operator of Citi Bike, to increase bikeshare coverage in some of its busiest neighborhoods to meet demand – as cycling is expected to expand dramatically with the L train’s disruption next year. The announcement included more Citi Bikes and denser “infill” coverage in midtown Manhattan between Canal Street and 59th Street as well as in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn; more Citi Bike valet stations; and a temporary L train pedal-assist Citi Bike “shuttle” over the Williamsburg Bridge.
As part of that shuttle, Citi Bike expects to add a total of 1,000 new pedal-assist bicycles to its fleet, and would designate four conveniently-located pedal-assist docking stations -- two in Williamsburg and two in lower Manhattan for their exclusive use.
“When I first tested our electric pedal-assist bicycles, it was an incredible experience and I couldn’t wait to bring them to my fellow New Yorkers,” said Jay Walder, President and CEO of Motivate, the operator of Citi Bike. “I am thrilled that the first pedal-assist Citi Bikes are hitting the streets today, well in advance of the L train shutdown. New Yorkers are going to have more fun riding Citi Bike than ever before and will quickly discover that they can go farther and conquer steep city bridges with ease.”
Earlier this year, the de Blasio Administration also announced that it was working on a new framework to clarify the legality of pedal-assist bicycles. The new rule, which defines and regulates pedal-assist bicycles for use on New York City streets, went into effect on July 28, 2018.
“The incorporation of pedal assist bicycles into Citi Bike’s fleet will make the benefits of cycling accessible for even more New Yorkers. As our City prepares for the upcoming L train service disruptions, these new pedal assist bicycles are an innovative and badly needed additional option for commuters,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “In the longer term, making cycling a greater part of our City’s transportation landscape will reduce pollution and congestion all while promoting healthy habits. Addressing New York’s transit challenges requires employing every tool available and this announcement is a valuable step in that direction.”
"It's exciting to see us embrace pedal-assist bikes as a green and safe transportation solution for New Yorkers during the L train shut down," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Council Committee on Transportation. "While the tunnel repairs are necessary, the disruption is to impact the commute of hundreds of thousands of commuters. Bringing pedal-assist Citi Bikes will help mitigate that impact and, hopefully, make biking part of New Yorkers' daily commute throughout the city."
“By adding pedal-assist bikes to its fleet, Citibike continues to expand access to cycling as an alternative form of transportation. This is especially good news in light of the upcoming L train shutdown and other major transit projects. And as an avid cyclist, I am thrilled that more and more New Yorkers are joining in this environmentally friendly and healthy form of transportation,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“As an avid bike rider, I am pleased by this announcement of the implementation of 200 pedal assist bikes being added to the Citi Bike platform. It is essential that all New Yorkers have equal opportunity and accessibility to the benefits of Citi Bike. This collective ride across the Brooklyn Bridge is a great way to celebrate this new addition and an even greater way to ensure that every New Yorker continues to enjoy biking around Brooklyn and all of New York City,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.
“Adding 1000 pedal-assist electric bikes to Citi Bike over the next year will improve transit accessibility across Brooklyn and all of New York City,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. “It is clear that New Yorkers enjoy having options to get around the city efficiently and sustainably. Adding pedal-assist bikes will make cycling even more fun and also more accessible to populations that have hesitated to hop onto a bike. I look forward to seeing this program grow across New York.”
About Citi Bike:
Citi Bike is New York City’s bike share system, and the largest and most successful in the nation. Since its launch in 2013, Citi Bike has expanded to 12,000 bikes at more than 750 stations and has become an integral part of New York’s transportation network, with more than 64 million rides taken to date. Operated by Motivate, North America’s bike share leader, Citi Bike consists of a fleet of specially designed, durable bikes that are locked into a network of stations in more than sixty neighborhoods across New York City. Customers can download the Citi Bike app to unlock bikes, find real-time station information, and see individualized statistics including miles traveled and calories burned. Learn more at https://www.citibikenyc.com/.