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<I>Would You Have any Grey Poupon?</I> Citi Bike to Expand Valet Service

Citi Bike’s “valet service” means fewer hassles. Photo: Citi Bike

Citi Bike will roll out more valet service this spring to eliminate a persistent problem with the bike-share system: nowhere to put the bikes when docks in popular locations are full.

The company will add staffers at 21 new dock sites, which will dramatically expand the number of bikes that can be stored. Nine existing valet-served stations will be retained, with the service returning today, just in time for spring.

"All in all, think of this as adding 8,000 extra docking points to the system during peak hours," said Citi Bike spokesman Cory Epstein. "Our valets more than double the capacity at a station. As one example, at one of our stations near Penn Station, there are 15 docks, but with a valet we can hold up to 220 bikes."

Starting today and continuing through May, the Citi Bike valets will be dispatched to areas that had not enjoyed the service, despite often overcrowding conditions that make it impossible to return a bike. Citi Bike's dock at Jay and York streets in DUMBO is one such location. Williamsburg, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, the West Village and the Lower East Side will also be getting valets (see full list below).

The move will likely be greeted warmly by people who have been frustrated to arrive at a Citi Bike dock only to find nowhere to lock the bike. Daily News reporter Marianne Garvey famously wrote about just such a catastrophe in 2014. As this story went to press, many docks in Soho, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Midtown East and the Garment District were full.

Here's the full list of Citi Bike valet stations and the expected rollout dates (new service is in bold):

March 19:

    • East 48th St. at Fifth Ave.
    • Eighth Ave. at West 33rd St.
    • St. Marks Pl. at First Ave.
    • Christopher and Greenwich sts.
    • East 55th St. at Third Ave.
    • West 52nd St. at Fifth Ave Corral
    • East Second Street at Ave. B
    • West St. at Chambers St.

By the beginning of April:

  • West 72nd St. at Columbus Ave.
  • East 68th St. at First Ave.
  • West 44th St. at Fifth Ave.
  • West 43rd St. at Sixth Ave.
  • West 27th St. at 11th Ave.
  • East 14th Street at University Pl.
  • Allen and Staton sts.
  • West 40th Street at 12th Ave.
  • East 24th St. and Park Ave Corral
  • East 16th St. at First Ave.

By mid-April:

  • North Eighth and Berry sts.
  • Canal and Rutgers sts.
By the start of May:
  • Greenwich and West Houston sts.
  • Greenwich and Murray sts.
  • South St. at Gouverneur Ln.
  • West Broadway at Spring St.
  • Jay and York sts.
  • DeKalb Ave. near Flatbush Ave. Extension
  • West 18th St. at Sixth Ave.
  • East Seventh St. at Ave. A

Those join 10 valet-serviced docking stations that are in operation year-round:

  • Central Park South at Fifth Ave. (Grand Army Plaza)
  • West 31st St. at Eighth Ave.
  • West 40th St. at 12th Ave.
  • West 42nd St. at Dyer Ave.
  • East 47th St. at Park Ave.
  • West 52nd St. at Sixth Ave.
  • East 22nd St. at Broadway
  • East 20th St. at the FDR Drive
  • East 10th St. at Ave. A
  • Broadway at Battery Pl.
  • North Moore and Greenwich sts.

Check the Citi Bike website to confirm that the valet service has been set up by clicking here.

Side note: For those of you who don't get the reference to the joy of the valet lifestyle evoked in our headline, enjoy this brief video below:

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