Bike-Share Expansion in Harlem, Astoria, and Central Brooklyn Starts Next Week

This phase adds 140 stations and 2,000 bikes to the system. After that, there is no official plan to expand further, though the city is in talks with Motivate.

Citi Bikes aren't performing that well. Photo: Adrian Nutter/Flickr
Citi Bikes aren't performing that well. Photo: Adrian Nutter/Flickr

Next Tuesday, September 12, Citi Bike operator Motivate will begin installing 140 new stations and 2,000 bikes in Astoria, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Harlem up to 130th Street, marking the final phase of planned expansion for the four-year-old bike-share system.

Prospect Heights and Crown Heights will get 27 stations, Astoria 59, and Harlem 49. (You can see the final station maps on the city’s website.) Citi Bike will also add seven “infill” stations to fill out thin parts of the bike-share network in Long Island City.

The expansion in Astoria comes out to just 19 stations per square mile, however, significantly less than the 28 recommended by the National Association of City Transportation Officials to keep stations within easy walking distance.

Citi Bike begins expanding into the yellow-shaded areas of the map next week. Image: Motivate
Citi Bike begins expanding into the yellow-shaded areas of the map next week. Image: Motivate

When this expansion phase wraps up in the fall, the bike-share system will encompass 12,000 bikes. But much of the city — including densely populated, walkable neighborhoods where bike-share would be well-used — will still not be covered by Citi Bike.

For the last 18 months, the city and Motivate have been negotiating terms for the next phase of bike-share expansion. Under a draft proposal reported by Politico in May, Motivate would add 6,000 more bikes at no cost to the city. Two-thirds of that expansion would cover new turf, and one-third would be placed in neighborhoods that currently fall short of NACTO’s station density guidelines.

Leading City Council members have urged the city to close the deal.

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