Nighttime Citi Bike Rides Are About to Get Brighter

Blaze's "laserlight" projects the image of a bicycle about 20 feet ahead of the rider.
Blaze's "laserlight" projects the image of a bicycle about 20 feet ahead of the rider.

Motivate, the company that runs Citi Bike, will install extra-bright “laserlights” on 250 bikes. The lights project the image of a bicycle onto the pavement about 20 feet in front a rider, as you can see in the promo video below:

London is in the process of installing Laserlights on its entire bike-share fleet. A study commissioned after Transport for London began piloting the lights showed that 75 percent of cyclists felt safer biking with them, according to Motivate. A majority of bus drivers surveyed also found that the lights made cyclists easier to notice at night.

Contrary to the doomsday predications that heralded its launch in 2013, Citi Bike has a strong safety record. In a statement, Motivate said it hopes the new lights encourage ridership among women.

  • Brian Howald

    “Aren’t you supposed to be in a bike lane?!?”
    “You don’t see that big green bike symbol on the road 20 feet in front of me?”

  • I can’t wait to go for a ride with fellow riders and go somewhere and record the laser light bike glyphs jumping, weaving and dancing with each other as we move in paterns. I am totally serious!! (In a safe spot of course, not the road.)

  • walks bikes drives

    I saw a guy riding up an avenue with one of those, and honestly, I wasn’t so impressed. But that was just a one off impression. I have yet to see one while driving, which I think will be the best indication. But I have to say, as a driver, I am quite happy with the lighting of citibikes.

  • Andrew

    Interesting idea, but won’t it be distracting (to the cyclist, at the very least)? Maybe not.

    What about throwing another image off the back of the bicycle, to fend off motor vehicles from behind?

  • AnoNYC

    Agreed. Citi Bikes are currently well illuminated. If you crash into one at night, you weren’t looking. This addition only helps.

  • walks bikes drives

    I am a big proponent of always on lighting for bikes. I bought my lights (Metro 600 and Bontrager Flare R) based on best daytime visibility in my price range (about $50 each). While researching a while back, I got to know lights pretty well, and the citibike lighting is up there with some of the best of them, day and night. They don’t have the daytime range mine do, but they are far better than many out there.

  • Joe R.

    I was thinking the exact same things. A red bicycle in back would be far more useful keeping motorists at a safe following distance. From my own personal standpoint, the green bicycle image in front would be a bit distracting but I’d probably get used to it. I would imagine the front image is useful to give pedestrians advance warning of a bike. It may also come in handy preventing motorists from right-hooking you. A third use which I’m sure nobody else thought of is to give advance warning of poor pavement conditions. If the bicycle image distorts, you know you’re going to hit rough spots. Regular bike headlights are only semi-useful in that department.

  • vgXhc

    I feel that one risk is that people are going to pay more attention to the symbol than to the actual person on a bike.

  • com63

    That is pretty awesome. They should do it in the back and also to the sides to show the 3ft(?) passing zone required by law.

  • GizmodeJC

    I really hope that this feature can be added to the Citi Bikes here in Jersey City.

  • MasonEagle

    I had one of these bikes tonight. It’s actually very cool, although I did worry that it was distracting drivers. It was certainly distracting pedestrians, everyone was stopping and pointing. And yes, it did distract me somewhat. I couldn’t keep my frigging eyes off the thing, lol…..