Since the launch of Citi Bike in 2013, the number of bike sharing users has continued to grow along with the number of bike stations spread throughout New York City. After recognizing its success, many other cities, such as Jersey City and Toronto, have also started to take after New York with bike sharing programs. For Citi Bike to continue to grow in New York City, however, it is essential the program expand further into the outer boroughs.
Bike sharing in itself offers multiple benefits to commuters and cities all over the world, which is why it is no wonder it has grown so quickly in New York. Bike sharing helps reduce the amount of stress put on the public transportation system, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cycling also has added health benefits for riders. For these reasons, bike sharing continues to grow. In fact, a new report shows that in 2016 alone, 28 million bike share trips were recorded across the United States. Roughly half of those trips were on Citi Bike, which puts the scale of New York’s program in perspective.
As the number of bikers continues to grow, so does the demand. Luckily for New Yorkers, Citi Bike finished the first step of its expansion throughout the city this past winter. Now residents of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Long Island City will be able to ride around on Citi bikes. Further Citi Bike expansion in 2017 will also allow residents in parts of Harlem, Astoria, and around Prospect Park in Brooklyn to use the bike sharing system.
Unfortunately, Citi Bike is primarily located in more affluent parts of the city. Further funding and expansion more residents throughout New York will be able to access the bike-sharing program helping to improve mobility and reduce green house gas emissions. The expansion into transit deprived neighborhoods like Red Hook, for example, would allow commuters to better connect to the public transportation system and rely less on cars.
City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez Mayor de Blasio’s 2016 announcement explained: “As Citi Bike continues to expand into new communities across the city, more New Yorkers will have a clean, convenient, sustainable and active transportation option.” With continuous investment in the Citi Bike program New York City will be able to diversify and improve its transportation system, offering more and better low carbon options, a key part of Mayor de Blasio’s 80 x 50 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.