UWS CITI BIKE STATIONS TO EXPAND NORTH THIS SUMMER; MORE TO BE ADDED BELOW 86TH TOO

citibike18
Photo by Steven Weiss.

Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike, is expected to roll out new stations between 86th and 110th street starting in August, and add more stations below 86th to address a shortage at certain times of the day.

As we reported last week, some locals have complained that there are too few Citi Bikes available, particularly after the early-morning rush, in the section of the Upper West Side that already has Citi Bikes (below 86th street). The city has not yet announced where the new station might be placed in areas that already have Citi Bikes, and the Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for comment.

citi bike station map
The line separating the haves (Citi Bike) from the have-nots.

The city put out a statement that says they’ll be meeting with affected communities but haven’t specified when and where on the UWS. We’ll update you when they do.

“To improve density, DOT and Motivate will bring as many as 42 additional stations to portions of the system installed in 2015, including the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan, and portions planned for installation in 2016 and 2017. A denser network helps ensure that a Citi Bike station is always close at hand, providing a more robust, reliable service for seasoned riders and first-time users alike. DOT will be discussing these new “infill” stations with affected communities in the weeks ahead, beginning this Thursday evening, May 19, at Community Board 6 in Brooklyn.”

NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      I’ll just keep out of this one.

    2. Big Earl says:

      I wonder how long the photographer above had to walk around until they could find a docking station on the UWS with bikes.

    3. Cody says:

      Around Columbia University is a natural place to have a lot of Citi Bikes. And the new bike lane on Amsterdam has already made the street quieter (I’m at 83 on Amsterdam). So, I for one look forward to an expanded biking future.

      • Peter says:

        Docks by Columbia, I agree. Even more urgently, there should be docks all along the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which has a ready-made bike path that circles the island and doesn’t interfere with car traffic.

        • Jay says:

          Citibike is not meant for recreational use. It is meant for transportation. That’s why stations are not in parks and there is a 30 minute limit on trips.

          • Peter says:

            You need to get to Tribeca from the UWS, biking via the car-free Greenway is the fastest and safest way to go. (Mmm. anyway, who says Citi Bikes aren’t for recreation?)

            • Dan says:

              “Bike ‘n’ Roll”, who have rental shops along the Greenway, are probably pressuring the DOT to keep the Citibike stations off the Greenway.

            • Laura C says:

              Yes, but first you have to get to the greenway. The fastest way to get to the greenway from say, Broadway, is to bike there.

          • kippervasser says:

            Actually, one reason the program isn’t doing as well as hoped financially is because not enough tourists and one-timers are using it. More docks near the Greenway might help. (The most frequent users are males with annual memberships who hop on Citibikes to commute to work and to zip around town while out and about.)

    4. Chuck D says:

      I thought it was already settled that the area between 86th-110th was getting new stations. They were supposed to get them a year ago, right? Also, yeah, they need more downstream.

    5. Local citizen says:

      The 63rd Street and Broadway station, across from Lincoln Center is woefully awful. It is a tiny station next door to a huge commercial and tourist destination. Locals can never get a bike at that location. 63rd Street needs at least triple the capacity! Please!!

      • John says:

        They could put 100 bikes on CPW and 62nd in front of 15 CPW, tons of cars park there everyday in a no parking zone. But the rich will not allow this.

    6. Jane Greenbeat says:

      Is it really that there are not enough stations with bikes or that there are less bikes coming back uptown? This was touched on last article, but are there statistics?

      How much more space are the new bike stations going to take away from parking? It’s not a flexible system. Once the bikes are used in the morning, that street real estate is wasted. More bikes need to be filled in during the day by whoever distributes Citibikes. The current system has to be improved vs. expanded in places it already exists.

      • Zulu says:

        Why do you say the real estate is wasted when there are no bikes at the docks? I do agree that bikes need to be rebalanced better but the high demand also points to improper station density. So does the valet work needed during the PM rush when a lot of the bikes come back.

        BTW it’s not unusual to have this problem with transportation systems. It happens with trains too. After the AM or PM rushes trains are required to be deadheaded in order to maintain a level of service in between the peak demands.

      • No patience says:

        This is for the HANDFUL of people who use these bikes. Why?? As Fran Leibowitz says ..they just keep adding more stuff to the city streets BUT the streets are NOT getting bigger. Whoever is making money on this …please go away…go to a less crowded city. Go to Denver go to anywhere Georgia anywhere anywhere..just please leave us in peace. I commute to my job by city bus sometimes subway.the bike users (tourists)are in the way…so exactly WHO is making money here ?? Like Bloomberg giving Times Square to the tourists with that garbage 42nd st mall….someone is getting very rich. And we’re just getting more crowded.

        • Kevin says:

          A) You’re responding to an article that is entirely about how the supply of bikes can’t meet demand, and your takeaway is that only a few people use them?

          B) About 10 bikes fit in each car parking spot that is burned up. Seems to me like Citibike serves a lot more people for the same amount of public space. Why does the 1 car commuter get preference over the 10 bike commuters?

          C) Dense cities make way more sense as a place for a bike share than a less dense city like Denver. You can fit more bike parking per sq foot than car parking. You can fit more bikes on a constrained road than cars. The distances in NYC are so short that cars aren’t all that useful unless you can’t take public transit or bike, or you need to move freight.

        • jeff Berger says:

          1. Bikes benefit our city because people who make short trips on bikes are one less people on an ever crowed subway or bus.
          2 On an island 13 miles long and 2 miles wide, bikes are the best way to get around. They are faster than buses and don’t pollute.
          3. Cites like Boston and DC have proven that they work and are just as dense as us.
          4. By removing cars from Times Square we created a wonderful space with clean air and a place to sit and eat and enjoy the city. It brings in tourists, who bring in money our city needs. Go to the Times Square Earth Cam. You will se that is is used nearly 24 hours a day.
          5. Fran Liebowitz? Really?

    7. Katefromtheblock says:

      Let’s see the numbers. How many of those docking stations on the UWS actually have bikes in them and for how long? The one on 76th is usually barren. Strangely when that real estate was used for cars it was always full. The price is too expensive for a moderate user and for those on a tight budget. #notafan

      • anon says:

        The price is around $12/month or roughly one crosstown cab ride. If you’re on such a tight budget that $12/month would be a noticeable strain then not only is Citibike not for you but likely neither is Manhattan (you wouldn’t be able to buy food here or pay the premium rate of taxes we in the city pay).

        • Jon says:

          This—by biking to and from work I am saving $116 per month on a monthly MetroCard fee and countless cab rides. There is also the benefit of daily exercise which benefits those who can’t afford a gym membership.

      • Debbie D. says:

        Lets examine this.

        How many bikes does a typical station hold? In the evening, after people commute back, they average 60-70% full. How many bikes is that?

        In the morning, after rush hour, they are empty. Where did all those bikes go? Its almost as if people are using them.

        How many parking spots did we lose? 1? 2? 3?

        Kind of seems like people are using the system and clamoring for more. All at the expense of a few parking spots.

      • Kevin says:

        It was always full because you could only fit 4 cars. We’re talking about 50+ bikes in that same real estate.

        Also keep in mind when you see a car parked, you are seeing an *unused* resource. When you see a bike empty you are seeing a resource that is currently in use. What % of a cars life is parked and useless, vs what % of a shared bike is parked and useless?

        • anon says:

          If the bike rack is empty is doesn’t mean the bike is in use. It simply indicates the bike is elsewhere — like in a rack in midtown.

          • Cato says:

            I don’t think anyone has considered the possibility that there are only a total of five or six bikes in the whole city.

            They just keep moving around so that every station has a few bikes for some time during the day.

      • KinkyBoots says:

        Kate should learn to ride a bike

        #notafanofkate

      • Richard says:

        Too Expensive?? Even if you used it once a week that’s only $3 a ride. They should raise the price by 25%, it would still be a good deal and we would have more bikes.

    8. John says:

      Why does it take three Citi bike workers to dock one Bike? Are they Union?

    9. Jon says:

      More CitiBike docking stations are definiitely needed along Amsterdam Avenue between W 73rd and 79th Street. Many of the stations around that area are frequently emptied by 8 AM on weekday mornings.

      A docking station at the NW corner of 78th Street and Amsterdam Ave would be a great fit—both streets have bike lanes, and there is extra-wide sidewalk space that could accommodate a rack, without sacrificing street parking or commercial loading zones.

      • Woody says:

        The bike lane on Amsterdam between 72nd and 75th Streets will never be usable because of the MTA dispatcher’s car blocking the lane and the Beacon Theater putting out metal grates to reserve the space for loading in/out.

        • 86th and Amsterdam in front of Met Foods is a constant loading zone. Cars and trucks park in the lane during the day. There is also construction at 85th street where a dumpster and construction fence close the lane for the first third of the block.

    10. Johnny Backinmyday says:

      First they jam bikes down our throats and next thing you know they’ll say I’m no longer allowed to burn my garbage in the streets.

      The inmates (liberals) are running the asylum (New York City). All I see are mouthy kids riding around on their bikes. This place hasn’t been the same since they let that liberal LaGuardia run (ruin) it.

    11. Wendy says:

      I don’t mind the bikes, and am enjoying the new bike path up Amsterdam, but It’s annoying to see so many parking spots being taken away when there are places with large sidewalks that could accommodate citibike without removing valuable parking spots. Central Park West is one location. Another is the oversized sidewalks around W. 78-79th Street and Amsterdam Ave. Also the huge sidewalks at W. 96th between Bway and West End; and on and on. It’s ridiculous to have a bike lane on the west side of Amsterdam and then have so many citibikes on the opposite side of the Avenue, taking up so many parking spots!

      • dannyboy says:

        I need to revise my earlier Comment about not getting involved in bike talk, but…but…
        You’re talkin’ about putting more stuff on “the huge sidewalks at W. 96th between Bway and West End”?

        Putting any more stuff on this block will make it even more chaotic and unsafe. As it is now, pedestrians don’t have enough sidewalk space to even have a chance.

      • anon says:

        ummm park your car in a garage or get rid of it. I feel no need to subsidize your parking with my tax dollars since in return we all just get exhaust emissions and gridlock.

      • BMAC says:

        The docking stations are modular and designed to be easily moved if necessary. I will not be surprised to see some of them move from the east side of Amsterdam to the west once the bike lane is complete.

      • mobody says:

        On 5th Avenue the docking stations are on the West (Park) side sidewalks. But on Riverside Drive they are on the West side of the street, right next to similar sidewalks to those on 5th Avenue. Wouldn’t moving the stations on RSD onto the very wide sidewalk make more station space available as well as free up much needed parking spaces?

    12. Does anyone know if and how Citi Bike is reimbursing the city for all the parking spaces and side walk space they are taking away?

      • Zulu says:

        Absolutely, I’m sure they’re reimbursing the city just as much as all those car owners that park on the street for free.

    13. John says:

      Weren’t we told last year that the bike stations would be installed this spring? What a pity to lose the use of the bikes this summer.

    14. Robert Goodman says:

      If a few Citibike stations are empty during “certain times of the day” then we need more bikes not more bike stations. It is certain that precise data on bike removal and replacement by riders is available and replenishment of the stations could be easily implemented by the business. It may not be in the interest of the business to incur the costs of this level of service but it would serve the needs of all citizens.

      Further, many West Side avenue sidewalks are extremely wide and have more than enough space to accommodate pedestrians and bike stands. The west side of Broadway between 78 and 77th Street is but one obvious example. Further still, in some parts of the city some bike stations on the park side of avenues such as CPW and 76th street are already installed on the sidewalk. There is no negative impact on pedestrians.

      The notion that greater density of stations is required is preposterous. Most folks need to walk several blocks to all forms of public transportation.

      • Stephen says:

        This is fantastic news. The system is drained by soon after 8am. That means I’m smooshing on the B train with you, not on a bike.
        I’ve noticed that this year the evening replenishment is not as great. While in 2015 the docks were near full in the summer evenings they often don’t make it back over 50% on some days exacerbating availability the next morning.
        It’s a great value proposition $125 for a year’s bikes the same as a monthly subway ticket.

      • Zulu says:

        You just don’t want to loose any more parking spaces, and I understand that. But station density is key to success for a bike share system among other things. It’s critical that upon arrival to the destination station if there are no available docks there must be another station near by to receive the bike. Since that’s not the case in the UWS, CitiBike is forced to valet at certain stations. As we all know one of the most expensive components of a business is labor so if Motivate wants to cut their costs in the long run they have to move away from the practice of valeting bikes and install more stations. I agree there are sidewalks large enough to house a station without adverse impact to pedestrians and with thw Amsterdam bike line in progress some of the existing stations should be able to be more conveniently installed. Overall the system far outweighs the impact to drivers by providing mobility to a much larger number of people than private car ownership can ever will. Any inconvenience to the latter group is justified in my book.