Nov. 29, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Citi Bike is set to undergo a massive expansion, doubling its current service area and more than tripling the number of bikes in its fleet over the next five years, the city announced today.
Lyft, the parent company of Citi Bike, will invest $100 million toward the expansion as part of an agreement reached with the city over its acquisition of Motivate, Citi Bike’s former operator.
Details on where Citi Bike will expand to are unclear, but the announcement could mean that the bike share company will head to Queens neighborhoods east of Astoria and Long Island City, currently the only two neighborhoods in the borough with the service, into places like Sunnyside and Woodside.
“This expansion means tens of thousands more New Yorkers are going to have a fast and inexpensive way to get around their city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “It also means much more reliable service for all the riders who already use Citi Bike.”
The bike share company will expand by 35 square miles over five years, and will operate a fleet of nearly 40,000 bicycles by the end of the expansion.
Citi Bike’s new geographic boundaries, however, will be set in the coming months, the city said, noting that community and elected official outreach in the selected expansion areas will follow.
The expanded fleet will also include regular and pedal-assist bicycles, a relatively new type of bike with a built in motor that provides a boost to riders, making it easier to climb hills and travel long distances.
Lyft will also continue and expand discounted Citi Bike memberships for NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients.
Citi Bike currently has 12,000 bikes and more than 750 stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens since it kicked off operations in 2013.
The bike share company added more service in Long Island City and Astoria last year after first launching in the Queens neighborhoods in 2015.
The Citi Bike expansion announcement comes as the city has been testing out dockless bikes in areas without a bike share service, like the Rockaways and the south Bronx.