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Blue dots indicate the first phase of the bike-share rollout while gray dots denote stations that will be added to the service later in 2013. (Courtesy NYCDOT)
When Hurricane Sandy plundered the East Coast in late October,it didn’t spare New York City’s Bike Share system, then in storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, causing damage to electrical components in the docking stations. Due to damage and delays from the storm, the initial launch of the Citi Bike Bike Share System will be scaled back and thousands of bikes originally meant to be part of the second phase will be pushed back to a third. The first blue Citi Bikes are expected to hit New York City streets this May.
An earlier map showing the original rollout plan, which has been scaled back. (Courtesy NYCDOT)
The first phase of the rollout will consist of 5,500 bikes at 293 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The second phase will expand the system to 7,000 bikes at 420 stations in Manhattan, Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bedford Stuyvesant. The third phase aims to distribute the remaining planned bikes to bring the system up to 10,000 bikes and 600 stations reaching from 79th St. in Manhattan to Sunnyside in Queens all the way to Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. Beginning this month, NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) will begin installing hundreds of bike stations across the city, and the anticipation is sure to build. All station locations can be viewed on the official New York City Bike Share Map here.
In a city as crowded as Manhattan, a bicycle rental systems are the ideal mode of transportation, providing city dwellers and tourists alike with a quick and efficient way to get from one part of town to the other without having to worry about parking or having to store it in a cramped apartment. Using a credit card or a key (only available to annual members), bikes can be unlocked from any dock and returned to any station at the end of its use.
According to NYCDOT, despite the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy Citi Bike is still set to become the largest bike sharing system in North America, surpassing cities like Washington, Boston, Minneapolis, and Denver.