Citi Bike Will Expand Uptown With Its Too-Sparse Station Network

The bike-share map for Community Board 11, via DOT. Click to enlarge.

The good news: Citi Bike is expanding up to 130th Street later this year.

The bad news: Stations in Morningside, Harlem, and East Harlem are going to be more spread out than the bike-share network below 59th Street. As with last year’s additions to the bike-share network, the longer walking distances between stations will make these expansions less convenient for Citi Bike users and sap the overall effectiveness of the system.

DOT and Motivate, the company that runs Citi Bike, have been holding workshops and getting feedback online about where to site stations. Maps for three community board districts have now been released, and the station densities fall short of the 28 stations per square mile recommended by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

All together, the bike-share maps for Community Board 11 in East Harlem [PDF], Community Board 9 on the West Side [PDF], and Community Board 10 in central Harlem [PDF] equate to a density of a little below 23 stations per square mile. If you look at CB 9 and CB 11 separately, however, the stations are more sparse, in the range of 20-21 stations per square mile.

This is the second year of a three-year expansion phase that will eventually bring Citi Bike to more of Queens and Brooklyn as well. The agreement between DOT and Motivate didn’t require more than 378 new stations to serve the expansion zones, which works out to a lower station density than the original Citi Bike service area. Rumors have swirled that the two parties are close to amending the expansion process so stations are spaced together more tightly, but so far that doesn’t seem to be happening.

  • AnoNYC

    When will the roll out begin?

    Also, does anyone know if the E 124th St two-way protected bicycle lane has been installed between 1st and 2nd Ave?

    I pass along 1st Ave almost every day and always forget to check. The modifications to 1st Ave between E 124th and 125th Sts hasn’t been installed yet.

    When is this supposed to happen. The bicycle population has been exploding in recent days due to weather.

  • BrandonWC

    Does anyone know if the proposal has even made it all the way though CB11? It was presented to the transportation committee in Feb, but there was no vote. The draft March minutes for the transportation committee indicate that there was a motion to support the plan but doesn’t say what the outcome is. Then it would still probably go to the full board which could have happened last month but there are no minutes yet. I think this month’s full board meeting is next Tuesday so potentially it could be presented then. There’s no revised presentation for the full board on DOT’s current projects page, but sometimes they don’t post those.

  • AnoNYC

    I really can’t wait until they implement it, that stretch before the Willis Ave bridge can be nasty at times. A lot of drivers who decide at the last minute to make that left turn cut off bicyclists all the time. I’ve almost been sideswiped, I’m sure a few have been. That bicycle lane running between the turning lane and the regular lanes is a conflict zone too. The most dangerous part is where it first begins. Some drivers will pull into that turning lane pretty quickly without looking.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    latent demand for cycling on UES is enormous. The miniscule Citibike rollout from 60th to 86th resulted in 3,000 Citibike trips per Workday in the first Month !

    We can guesstimate once Citibike expands to 130th some 10,000 daily Citibike trips will occur. Applying the standard 4:1 Rule of Thumb Private Bike to Citibike and One can expect FOURTY THOUSAND DAILY Bike trips on UES as normal in 12 Months times.

    Crosstown Painted Lanes ?
    Second Avenue Protected Bike Lane ?
    72nd Protected Bike Lane ?

    UES Cyclists won’t need to beg for a Paltry 5% of a Few designated roadways. At these volumes, Cyclists will OWN HALF OF ALL UES ROADWAYS:

    Own the Land & Critcal Mass will take on real meaning when 50% of roadway traffic consists of cyclists.

    It will be a great pleasure to see the CB8 Bike haters begging for bike lanes to corral cyclists in tiny bike lanes and the bike advocates voting NO.

    I love the smell of victory in the morning

  • AMH

    Great news–I’m thrilled to have a station coming just a block away from my place. Agree that there should be multiple stations around 125 St transit stations–that one on Park had better be huge. Are there plans to fill in these uptown networks as time goes on? I’d be fine starting out with this kind of coverage and densifying the network over time, but they’d better not think that this will be adequate for very long.

  • Alec

    a few stations on Randalls Island would be clutch – near the driving range / batting cages and maybe a pop up station at Icahn during concerts and events.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    brilliant Idea – Citibike station(s) on Randell’s Island. Tens of Thousands of users Have no good way to get to Randell’s. The ball Fields are packed all the Time. cycling to Randell’s Is easy and fast. Citibike a perfect fit

  • johnmassengale

    The “map of the Upper West Side” is grayed out below 110th Street. What happens between 85th Street, where the bikes stop now, and 110th Street? We were told last fall that there would be new stations above West 86th “in the spring.” Spring has sprung. There are no signs of new stations above West 86. Since I moved from 85th and Lexington to 99th and Riverside EXACTLY when the stations were opening in the fall, I would really like to know.

  • AnoNYC

    I hope so. They might be focusing on expanding coverage first due to political pressure and potential memberships/usage.

  • AMH

    I just worry that their cost-benefit analysis will show that adding infill stations later won’t be worth their while. They’ll get lots of new members with this expansion, but if they later double the number of stations will they get anywhere near the same ROI?

  • Jonathan R

    The way I see it, infill is always cheaper than expansion as it saves mileage and time on the maintenance and rebalancing vehicles.

  • Seth Ariel Green


    I understand and agree with your overall point. But it is hard to se how adding any stations anywhere can “sap” from the effectiveness of the system. As a citibike user, the more stations, the better. I also think it is reasonable for DOT to wait to see how many people use these stations before putting in a bunch more. I personally hope that there is a ton of demand and they add more stations. But I understand why they would start with a smaller rollout.

  • Daniil Goldin

    Are there any specific dates for the new stations?? I can’t find it anywhere. Really looking forward to the east harlem stations.


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