Citibike, the city’s short-term bike rental network, is the hot new thing in the city this summer. But like many hot new things, it’s not on the Upper West Side.
We’ve seen people Citi-biking through the neighborhood, but there’s nowhere to dock the bikes, so they have to return them to a downtown station. That, of course kind of defeats the purpose of a service meant for commuters. Currently, the closest stations are located on 59th street and 11th avenue, 59th and 10th and 60th and Broadway, according to the Citibike station map. There are more than 300 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“While there is not a timeline for the expansion of Citi Bike to portions of Manhattan north of 59th St., we are working to bring bike share to those neighborhoods, as well as others in Brooklyn and Queens, as soon as possible,” A DOT spokesman wrote back.
We asked if the stations would be placed incrementally, meaning the DOT could add one or two at a time instead of waiting to review and then place dozens in the neighborhood.
The reply: “While a handful of stations are located just north of 59th St., that is the primary northern boundary. No other details on the potential options for system expansion at this point.”
Gale Brewer also sent the letter below to the DOT, but hasn’t heard back.
Citibike is not universally loved — the DOT angered some people by placing the docking stations in spots that locals didn’t like. And there have been consistent technical issues, including problems placing the bikes back into their docks. But the program has spurred lots of interest, and seems like a good commuting alternative. As of last week, about 45,000 people had purchased annual memberships, which cost $95 plus taxes (you can also buy daily and weekly passes). Are you excited about CitiBike? Take our poll below.