Why Doesn’t Queens Have Citi Bike?

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There are 6,000 bikes imprinted with Citibank logos in downtown Manhattan and a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn. There are zero in Queens. The Wall Street Journal reports that the program is concentrated in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, although a DOT spokesman counters that those are also some of the most densely populated areas as well. And the program won’t be expanding until more funds are raised.

Unlike some other cities, New York’s bike share program is entirely funded by corporations: Citibank Inc. (whose logo also appears on a certain tower in Long Island City) and Mastercard. That’s good news for cash-strapped transit agencies like the Port Authority and MTA, but it infuses the program with a heavy dose of capitalism. And the patterns of heavy ridership tend to mimic those of gentrification. It’s hard to imagine that Williamsburg (where, full disclosure, this writer lives) would have the bike program if Bedford Avenue and its surroundings weren’t such a magnet for tourists, which is fueled in part by its proximity to Manhattan and a substantial influx of new affluent residents.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer of Long Island City told Capital that residents in Western Queens feel “left out.” Do you?

3 Comment

  • I do feel likft out, yes.I do understand that we in LIC are *supposedly* getting them by the end of the summer, which would be great.

    While in Williamsburg this weekend, I was meeting a friend, arriving via Citibike, who had to go to the third closest station to our meeting place just so he could park the bike, which was a 10 minute walk away, because there were no spaces available at the kiosk. While nothing is ever perfect, this can be a major issue in LIC if they are only building a handful of racks. If one were on Center Blvd, it would not be fun to have to ride all the way up Court Square to deposit the bike in order to avoid fees, if that were the closest available.

  • I think it is too soon to feel “left out” of the bike share program. The program is only 2 weeks old. If the program is successful, it may be expanded to additional areas of the city, including some parts of Queens. If you look at the map of the bike stations, the Manhattan locations are all below 60th Street. So there are large parts of Manhattan that do not yet have any bike share stations. I think people should wait to see if the program gets expanded before concluding that their neighborhood has been “left out”.

  • I do not feel left out at all. They’d likely remove much needed parking spaces in order to make this happen in LIC so… all good. Keep them out.