Aug. 5, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
All 12 Long Island City Citi Bike stations will be installed within three weeks, according to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
The first, located on Center Boulevard between 54th Avenue and Borden Avenue, is already up and running.
Trottenberg joined Jay Walder, president and CEO of Motivate – the company that runs the bike share system – as well as local officials and community leaders on Wednesday, to cut the ribbon on this station and celebrate the expansion of Citi Bike into Queens and the new areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The expansion is part of a two-year plan to double the Citi Bike network in New York, from 6,000 bikes to 12,000 bikes.
Wednesday’s launch marks the accomplishment of a long-delayed effort to bring Citi Bike to the Borough. Equipment flooding from Superstorm Sandy delayed the installations, which were originally slated for the bike share’s first rollout in New York City.
For Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, the new Long Island City stations represent “a dream come true.”
“[Citi Bike] will allow for people to come to Long Island City and see all of our restaurants and our cultural institutions,” Van Bramer said, adding that he believes the bike share network is crucial to improving street safety in New York.
An additional expansion phase, which will include stations in Astoria, is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris looked forward to this expansion into the northern side of his district.
“People from elsewhere need a way to get to Long Island City to dock those bikes, and people from Long Island City will want to go elsewhere,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do, but this is a great start.”
The DOT announced plans for the network expansion last fall. This announcement came at a time of transition for Citi Bike, with new ownership and Walder taking the helm. Fees to use the bikes also jumped at this time, to $149 for an annual membership.
However, new riders temporarily can get a membership discounted $25, Walder said on Wednesday. The deal runs until the end of August.
For a list of all stations planned for Long Island City, click here.