New York Daily News Citi Bikes debut on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side by Dan Rivoli
City Councilman Ben Kallos and others take Citi Bikes for a spin Tuesday on the Upper West Side. JEENAH MOON/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Bright blue Citi Bikes debuted on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side Tuesday, part of an expansion that is flourishing in Manhattan and Brooklyn, even as scores of New York neighborhoods await their turn.
Officials who gathered at a 68th St. and Lexington Ave. bike station for a celebratory crosstown ride are already clamoring for more docks.
“The most successful shared-bike systems have a fairly high density of station coverage,” said Michael Replogle, a city transportation deputy commissioner. “That’s something we intend to see in all the neighborhoods of the city that are served by Citi Bike.”
East Side Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat, sounding a bit greedy, said his neighborhood has room for more docks if there’s enough demand. He even proposed installing a dock outside his district office on E. 93rd St.
City Department of Transportation Deputy for Policy Michael Replogle unveils a new Citi Bike docking station on the Upper West Side. JEENAH MOON/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Those are not exactly words to soothe cyclists in the outer boroughs, who are feeling left in the dust. While Manhattan now has 258 docks and Brooklyn 151, Queens has only nine, and Staten Island and the Bronx are stuck on a big fat 0.
The discrepancy has sparked criticism, but Mayor de Blasio has vowed to make Citi Bike a five-borough network. That will take some time, with plans for expansion in Harlem, Astoria in Queens and in several Brooklyn neighborhoods.
By the end of this month, the Upper West Side will get 21 new docking stations, while the Upper East Side will receive 27.
The Upper West Side will get 21 docking stations while the Upper East Side will get 27 stations through September. JEENAH MOON/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
City transportation officials hope New Yorkers fed up with slow crosstown buses and crowded trains will choose to hop on a Citi Bike for their commutes.
In his old Park Slope neighborhood, Jonathan Bednarsh, 41, went without a Citi Bike station. But since moving to Tribeca, he now has one outside his building, as well as his gym and lower Manhattan office. “I haven’t even been on a subway in three months,” Bednarsh said.
Keelan Murphy, 23, a midtown resident, said she would explore new areas of the city if she could take a Citi Bike into the outer boroughs and dock them. “The more neighborhoods with Citi Bike, the better,” she said.