If you’re still figuring out how you’ll get around during the L train shutdown, the city has a suggestion: pedal-assist Citi Bikes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that Citi Bike is introducing 200 pedal assist bicycles as another transportation option for those who will be stranded without the L train.
The Monday announcement marks just the start of the initiative. By next year, Citi Bike will have 1,000 pedal-assist bicycles available. The Citi Bike fleet includes a total of 12,000 bikes across New York City.
To celebrate this first launch, officials from the de Blasio administration, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Citi Bike representatives on Monday rode the pedal-assist bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge.
“Today’s pedal-assist bike ride signifies a new era of cycling for New Yorkers who love Citi Bike,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement. “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.”
L Train Shutdown Transportation Alternatives
The mayor first announced the addition of pedal-assist Citi Bikes back in June as a way to ease commuter woes during the L train shutdown.
Officials say pedal-assist bikes may be a more feasible and approachable transportation option to New Yorkers who aren’t completely excited about biking around the city. The pedal-assist Citi Bikes provide an “electric boost” that takes some of the strain away when biking up hills or over long distances.
As part of this effort, the NYC Department of Transportation will expand Citi Bike valet services and launch a temporary L train pedal-assist Citi Bike “shuttle” over the Williamsburg Bridge during the L train shutdown. That shuttle would include four pedal-assist Citi Bike docking stations: two in Williamsburg and two in lower Manhattan, exclusively for the pedal-assist bikes.
For those New Yorkers who don’t want to bike during the L train shutdown, pedal-assist option or not, there’s the M14 Select Bus Service option, which the city will launch on 14th Street in January 2019, ahead of the April 2019 L train shutdown.