Citi Bike pitched a five-borough expansion – at no direct cost to taxpayers – to New York City, a source said.
Motivate, Citi Bike’s parent company, proposed adding 6,000 bikes, with two-thirds of them going to areas that currently lack docking stations, like the Bronx and Staten Island.
The company will foot the cost of the expansion, but is asking the city for some quid pro quo:
- Expanded advertisement space on docks.
- Reaffirmation of the exclusivity agreement with the city, continuing Citi Bike's reign as New York City's only bike sharing service.
- Flexibility with pricing to allow pricing schedules that would benefit both residents and tourists.
- No more fines and recoupment fees.
Citi Bike docks take up space that could be metered parking, and the company reimburses the city for revenue lost. Motivate is asking the city to wave the reimbursement requirements. The source, who was briefed on the plan, would not specify how much the city gets with current ridership or stands to lose after the expansion.
A spokesman for the city said Motivate will owe $2 million by the end of June for the parking loss.
The source said that Citi Bike is the biggest bike sharing system in the country and the only one that operates without public funding.
After saying that the plan wasn’t in play three days ago, the source clarified that it is part of ongoing talks with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said he has always wanted to expand the bike share program.
"We are focused right now on an ambitious expansion plan this coming season, but we are always discussing with Motivate ways to improve the system," a spokesman for the city said.
Motivate did not comment on the plan.
Proposed locations for expanded Citi Bike services can be found online.
May is Bike Month
To celebrate Bike Month, Citi Bike is offering a few deals during the month of May and there is still time to take advantage.
Visit Citi Bike’s homepage to get $25 off an annual membership, which typically costs $163 per year.
The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is hosting bi-weekly rides for Bed Stuy residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Free Citi Bike bikes will be available. Find out more at www.restorationplaza.org.
Citi Bike staff will be stationed at Grand Army Plaza and Central Park South from 10am to 6pm every day to answer questions about Citi Bike and biking in general.
May 19 - Transportation Alternative’s fifth annual “Bike Home from Work” party starts at the Pearl Street Triangle in DUMBO, and will include a beer garden, food trucks, interactive exhibitions, a DJ and a tattoo shop.
May 20 - Ride a Citi Bike for free as part of Bike the Branches, Brooklyn Public Library’s annual fundraiser ride. There are pre-planned tours bikers can follow or head off on your own adventure around BPL’s 60 branches. Participants must be 16 or older to receive a free Citi Bike 24-Hour Access Pass to use on Saturday.
May 25 – Citi Bike, Bike New York and Councilmember Ben Kallos will host their first Citi Bike Streets Skills class of the season. The class will cover bike share basics, and riding tips to promote a comfortable and safe bike share experience.