The Citi Bike expansion that began last year has always been tempered by the fact that new stations are spread more thinly than the original bike-share network — making the expansion zones less convenient for bike-share users. Now it looks like DOT and Motivate, the company that runs Citi Bike, are going to fix that.
In a press release about Citi Bike expansion in 2016, the mayor’s office announced today that up to 42 new stations will be placed in “portions of the system installed in 2015, including the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan, and portions planned for installation in 2016 and 2017.”
The city expects to have “more than 600 stations” and 10,000 bikes operational by the end of this year. The system will extend up to 110th Street in Manhattan, and to the neighborhoods between Red Hook and Park Slope in Brooklyn. More expansions are slated for next year.
The 42 “infill” stations will put more bike-share stations in the expansion zones within a short walk of each other, and that’s one of the keys to making the whole network function as well as it should.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials recommends 28 bike-share stations per square mile. But recent Citi Bike expansions on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, as well as expansions into Harlem and Park Slope that have been mapped but not installed, have all fallen short of that standard.
It’s possible that some of the infill stations will cannibalize docks from other stations, and we’re still crunching the numbers to see if 42 new stations is enough to achieve the density that NACTO recommends. But today’s announcement is definitely good news for the future of bike-share in NYC.
DOT will be presenting the infill station locations publicly in the coming weeks, beginning tonight at Brooklyn Community Board 6.