The new Inwood and Washington Heights Citi Bike Stations will complete the Manhattan expansion and cause Citi Bike to surpass Paris’ Velib as the second largest bike share system after China. On April 7, 2021, the New York City Department of Transportation and Lyft announced the completion of the Inwood and Washington Heights Citi Bike Expansion. These new expansions will extend the bike share service from the Battery to 220th street, effectively covering the island of Manhattan.
Now with the 36 Citi Bike station expansion and 20,000 Citi Bike bicycles, Citi Bike has become the second largest bike share service in the world. Paris’ Velib service was the second largest service before being surpassed by Citi Bike. China still has the largest bike sharing service based on the number of bike docks with over 42,000 overall.
Within the United States, Citi Bike is the most widely used bike sharing system. The service hit multiple milestones within the last few years. Last year the service hit the milestone of having 100 million all-time rides. On September 12, 2019, the service broke records with 103,139 rides in a single day. Citi Bike users rode over 42.1 million miles last year. And in 2020, Citi Bike celebrated its 100 millionth ride.
E-bikes were launched by Citi Bike in 2020 allowing for ride share of electric bicycles. Citi Bike has added thousands of e-bikes to its service and plans to add thousands more next month. E-bikes now account for over 40% of Citi Bike ridership.
Citi Bike’s Phase 3 expansion to more than double the footprint of their network has begun and plans to be completed by 2024. The current expansion added 18 new neighborhoods to the program. New stations will also be added to the Bronx following the expansions made to Astoria and South Brooklyn made earlier this year. Citi Bike has over 20,000 bicycles, 4,500 ebikes, and 1,300 stations in its program. The program also works with over 60 community partners within the 5 boroughs of New York City.
Lyft’s Critical Workforce Membership Program assists to support nearly 30,000 free memberships. These free memberships have led to over 1.1 million more rides taken by this group since April of last year. Lyft also launched the first Equity Advisory Council for bike share service. Over 20 organizations are a part of this Council to provide equitable guidance for Citi Bike’s expansion.
Department of Transportation Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar stated, “The Department of Transportation’s completion of a record number of protected bike lanes in 2020 has paved the way for greater bike share growth, and we want to thank our partners at Lyft, along with Council Member Rodriguez and all the local community groups who have supported this expansion and helped us select station locations.”
General Manager for Citi Bike at Lyft, Laura Fox stated, “Getting to 20,000 bikes — more than three times what we launched with in 2013 — and surpassing Velib is a testament to our hundreds of thousands of dedicated riders for making Citi Bike one of the most successful and beloved systems in the world. We’re proud to provide a sustainable, affordable, and dependable mode of transportation to New Yorkers, and look forward to our continued partnership with NYCDOT and Mayor De Blasio as we grow this great system.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer stated, “The COVID pandemic has shown the need for alternative transportation solutions and I look forward to seeing Inwood and Washington Heights residents making good use of our city’s phenomenal bike share system.”
By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)