Citi Bike will begin installing stations in Bushwick in Brooklyn and Ridgewood in Queens next week, the company announced on Wednesday.
In total, the two neighborhoods will get 85 new stations of the bulky blue rental bikes, on top of a handful installed earlier this year ahead of the now-canceled L train shutdown.
The eastward expansion is the first step in Citi Bike’s plan to triple its fleet to 40,000 bikes and double its coverage area, which is currently limited to Manhattan up to 130th Street and sections of Brooklyn and Queens near the East River.
“Citi Bike is regularly shattering ridership records, as more New Yorkers and visitors alike discover what is, hands down, one of the most fun, healthiest, and sustainable ways to get around the city,” city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. “We are very excited about this latest development and cannot wait to add more new neighborhoods in 2020 and beyond.”
There was a great post on Citibike's expansion months ago by an ally that merits a rebuttal to Polly here.
New York Gentrification Watch
Last week on Curbed, via the NY Daily News, it was reported that a nonprofit, New York Communities for Change, commissioned a study to look at how well Citi Bike was serving NYC residents. Conducted by the Urban Politics and Research Governance Group and called “Bridging the Boroughs,” it came to the totally shocking, unseen and far out of left field conclusion that Citi Bike is being used exclusively by a young white affluent demographic.
Initially, my reaction to the Bridging the Boroughs study was, “No DUH. Of course.” But a few minutes into reading about it, alarm bells immediately started going off. Here’s why:
That Citi Bike is exclusively catering to a demographic that doesn’t include the poor and people of color shouldn’t have been a surprise to anybody. It’s so obvious that I can’t even believe people would waste time creating a study based around this very obvious fact. After all, this is who that service is for–tech-oriented, upper middle class white millennial-age transplants who have the money and the time to waste on what’s essentially a luxury.
It was people like this for whom Citi Bike was created, people who have the disposable income–and the waste of time–to use a system in which they have to jump through hoops to commute by bike. Urban planners, Big Development and their political cronies know this. It’s why Citi Bike was rolled out in the first place. Contrary to everyone’s assertions that it was about making bike riding more accessible to New Yorkers, Citi Bike seems to me to have been a cynical strategy to alert certain affluent demographics on the west coast and perhaps in Europe that NYC was now “up to their standards” and worth moving to.