New York City has selected Alta Bike Share to run its public bike-share system, under an arrangement that promises to make bicycling an integral new transit option for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The Public Bike System Company, which supplies systems in London, Washington, Boston, and Montreal, will produce the bikes and kiosks.
The winning bid features the hallmarks of the world’s best bike-share systems — there will be many bikes and many stations, spaced closely together so that any kiosk is a short walk from the user’s destination.
Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, and a group of elected officials are announcing the selection of the winner this afternoon, and we’ll have a report from the event later today. For now, here are the some key factoids:
- Within the service area, which will stretch from the Upper West Side and Upper East Side to Bed Stuy and Greenpoint, New Yorkers will have access to 10,000 public bikes at about 600 stations.
- Annual memberships will cost under $100. Members will be able to make trips of up to 30 minutes at no charge.
- The stations will be sited with input from local communities, and the City Council will hold hearings on the program.
- The system must operate without public subsidy.
All told, we’re talking about a system that will address several longstanding and disparate transportation-related problems faced by New York City residents: the long walk to the train station or bus stop that could be a short bike ride, the barriers to cycling posed by fear of theft and lack of storage space, the difficulty of getting across town in Manhattan.
Bike-share is going to change NYC’s streets. Stay tuned.