citibike uws
CitiBikes somehow made their way to West 80th street last month, and then got unceremoniously dumped in the trash. Photo by William.

A deal to expand CitiBike that the city has been working on for months finally came to fruition on Tuesday, and that means that the bikes will finally come to the Upper West Side. Right now the bike sharing network stops at 58th street.

But even if you’re excited about the expansion, don’t break out the champagne just yet. Because it could still be awhile before the bikes actually make it here.

The city says the program will double in size by 2017, expanding to Queens, further into Brooklyn, and up to Harlem. But the first expansion, starting next year, will be into Williamsburg and Long Island City. After that they’ll be coming to the Upper East and West Sides (see map below), but the Department of Transportation couldn’t give us more specific timing beyond “by 2017.”

Before that, there will be extensive public hearings on where to put the docking stations, DOT says: “DOT will begin the community outreach on bikeshare again before we can plan specifics locations of docks and get definitive timelines. The existing 332 stations were selected through an 18 month community input process so community outreach for this expansion is key to planning specific dock locations and getting them on the ground.”

Once the expansion is complete, there will be 12,000 bikes — up from 6,000 now — and an additional 375 stations.

The cost of an annual CitiBike membership is also rising, to $149 from $95. NYCHA residents will still be able to pay $60.


NEWS | 24 comments | permalink
    1. james says:

      I’m super disappointed with Citibike. I was among the first 1500 people to sign up and truly believed bike-sharing would revolutionize New York. For the first year it did. I went places I normally wouldn’t based on a simplified commute. I took long rides during weekend mornings to get some added exercise. I planned days around bike hopping. The word “bike-able” was added to our family lexicon, denoting dressing requirements for the day.

      In its second year, i’ve found the program far too frustrating, far too limited, and entirely inconvenient to continue my membership. I’ve hardly used the program this year. Unless they announce firm plans to expand to the Upper West, I won’t be renewing in May.

      • webot says:

        James what changed in the second year?

        • James says:

          Bikes were in bad condition, making long rides less enjoyable. Stations were often either full or in repair, making it difficult to return bikes. I became less inclined to take a bike knowing if have a hard time returning it at my destination.

          Mostly, I think I was more patient the first year. I had hoped of improvement and expansion. I forgave the growing pains. Unfortunately, things only got worse.

    2. Samuel says:

      Unless bike riders start obeying existing bicycle laws, this will be a disaster for the UWS. All bikers, including delivery men, must stop at all red lights, ride on the streets not the sidewalks, go in the direction of traffic not against it on one-way streets, walk their bikes in the parks, and respect the rights of pedestrians. Bike riders are notorious for flaunting these rules, pretending they’re deaf, riding too fast, making obscene gestures and remarks when asked to obey the rules, speeding through red lights, threatening the safety of pedestrians on sidewalks and park pathways, etc. Increasing the number of bikes to 12,000 without providing adequate inforcement is a threat to all those who walk the streets of the UWS.

      • DMH says:

        Seems like Citibike users in the current service area have avoided these issues. Those bikes are pretty sturdy and sedate.

        • geoff says:

          to use ‘steady’ and ‘sedate’ is an interesting choice. as the mass of riders increases through the increased use of citibikes, the tempo might change, possibly to a pace that is also steady and sedate. video images of riders in places like china show a mass of riders moving sedately and safely. so safely in fact it looks like falling over might not be possible.

      • ELJ says:

        While we’re at it, can we ban adults from zooming down the sidewalks on scooters? Never have I heard any adult on a scooter, or for that matter a child, say excuse me when they come zooming down the sidewalk as though they have the right of way and expecting me to jump out of their way.

        • Dave says:

          SKATE BOARDS. At dusk, and beyond. No lights, no courtesy, no regard for sidewalks, pedestrians, dogs. Parents, let’s get a little polite and safety considerations into the drug-addled skulls
          (OK, that was an exaggeration. I don’t have stats on the drug addled operants, but I do feel that a teener, all in black, going in the street, with/against traffic, with 2 BEATS clanging “Not MoZart” is a prime ER candidate. IF s/he doesn’t kill s puppy or a baby first.

    3. Mike says:

      How about they expand the program to include the mandatory use of bike helmets?

    4. pjrod says:

      Can’t wait for all the ensuing battles between bikers and pedestrians. Think you have it bad now with the car/pedestrian problem? This should be beautiful to watch.

      Oh… and bike helmets help prevent head trauma. I think that’s the point Steve.

      • DMH says:

        No doubt you are right, but the Citibike safety record here is reassuringly good. (Weird Reuters link, sorry).

        From May 2013 to August 2014, there were 10.3 million Citibike rides, and thank goodness, not one fatality. Only 40 riders out of 10 million have been hurt and reported to require medical attention. I think it’s been a lot better than people were bracing for when the program came online last May.

    5. T says:

      Not good news if you own a car and have to park it on the street on the West Side. Not everyone can afford $700 a month to park in a garage.

      • Marie says:

        Can’t say I can muster up any iota of sympathy for any car owner in Manhattan. If you can’t afford parking then why should we, the tax-paying (well, admittedly only a small percentage of us really pay most of the tax bill) citizens of NYC subsidize parking for you? I dislike the bikers in the neighborhood who don’t follow the laws (and there are TOO MANY of them) but protesting bikes for commoners because it gets in the way of your free Manhattan street parking? That’s the kind of attitude that makes the line at Zabar’s bread counter at 7pm each day intolerable lol.

      • public transport says:

        Not everyone can afford a car at all. If it’s too expensive to park, sell it & take the subway/bus.

    6. Lorraine Bege says:

      Who wants these bikes?????? They create problems with traffic and people. I already see people constantly crossing against the light on West End in the eighties–FREQUENTLY! Even though people have been hurt or killed. We need the police to enforce speed limits and jaywalkers. I’ve been in cabs that have almost hit people who dash in front of them against the light. This is particularly difficult at twilight. Pedestrians need to take responsibility too.

      I love my neighborhood and, so far, the new painted
      directions on the street are not heeded, and look ugly.
      Bringing more bycycle traffic to the area will create more problems unless they are limited to the parks. There are plenty of places to ride in Riverside. Many people already have their own bicycles and ride them responsibly.

      EVERYONE needs to take responsibility for what they do whether they are driving or walking!

      • geoff says:

        loarraine, your comment reminds me of one i read decades ago in the times. it concerned a korean grocery store that existed on a corner of park avenue and something. a resident across the street who was not in favour of its existence reportedly said “who wants to look out of the window and see VEGETABLES?”
        give it time. you’ll get used to the pavement markings.

      • james says:

        I, for one, want these bikes.

    7. bill says:

      I can’t wait to get these in our area. I asked DOT if we can have a rack in front of our building. Ride it over to Zabars, to the movies etc.. It’s a great way to travel.

    8. Rob says:

      This is great, but can we please have some separated bike lanes, like Columbus, throughout the UWS? It is scary to be able to go one direction protected from cars, but not the other direction.

      And what’s the deal with West End Avenue? All that extra space created with the road diet, given over to double-parking? I thought double-parking was illegal in NYC.

    9. Lisa says:

      Seems to be quite a lot of Citibike use in Greenwich Village and around Tribeca. Unfortunately, it appears that most cyclists (whether on Citibikes or their own bikes) completely disregard lights and are dangerous to pedestrians. (The delivery cyclists are actually pretty mindful – it is the “civilian” cyclists who ignore pedestrians and lights.)

      In heavily residential areas such as the West Side and East Side, I am really pessimistic –
      concerned that Citibike will just mean more danger to pedestrians.

    10. Wendy says:

      I would love to see Citibike on the Upper West Side. Wish it was coming sooner rather than later. But there is a parking problem up here, so they’d better put those racks on wide avenues, or streets with large sidewalks, like West 78th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. or at W. 86th Street near Gristedes, that’s not a terribly busy block, etc.