Sep 14, 2017

What’s Up With Citi Bike in Astoria

Clarification on what’s going on with Citi Bike and its eventual arrival in Astoria.

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Earlier this week we published a post (which we’ve removed due to a comedy of errors) about how excited we were that Astoria was getting Citi Bike on September 12. After all, the DOT press release stated, “Beginning September 12th, country’s largest bike-share program will add 2000 new bikes & 140 new stations in Harlem, Astoria, Long Island City, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.” Like a lot of you, we interpreted that as Citi Bike would be up and running in Astoria on September 12. As you no doubt have noticed, that is not the case. In the word style of Yoda, “disappointed, we are.”

So, I decided to get some clarification and called up the DOT press office. A representative there clarified the situation—keyword, “roll out.” Full statement from the DOT spokesperson: “Citi Bike Phase Two expansion is happening on a rolling basis. Installations have begun in Manhattan and once completed, will move into Queens.”

They started installing Citi Bike in Harlem on September 12 and while I asked if they could give me more of a clue as to when exactly they’d get to Astoria, they couldn’t provide me with that information. The safest estimate we can give you is that Citi Bike is expected to be up and running by end of 2017, and that when docking stations are installed, the bikes arrive shortly after that, sometimes on the same day.

UPDATE 9/22/17: This news comes directly from DOT:

Citi Bike is headed to Astoria [Friday, September 22, 2017], with the first stations slated for expansion including Vernon Boulevard & 41st Avenue, and 24th Street & 40th Avenue. Once complete later this fall, the neighborhood will have 59 Citi Bike stations as far north as Ditmars Boulevard and as far east as 44th Street. Also on the docket for Queens: Long Island City can also expect several additional stations in the coming weeks, to ensure that bikes are available where and when they’re needed.

This is the final leg of Citi Bike’s Phase Two expansion—which will complete the system’s multi-year plan to grow 100 percent from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes by the end of 2017. New members can get $25 off their annual membership before 9/30 (and more info on expansion), here.

As a reminder, here are the bike share maps for CB1 (Astoria) and CB2 (LIC) to find the station closest to you, your workplace, and favorite local haunts, which you’ll eventually be able to transport yourself to and from via bike share.

Aside from all this, Citi Bike is considered to be one of the most successful public-private partnerships in the city, although it hasn’t been immune to problems in the past, like bad software and broken hardware. Plus at one point it was the victim of its own success with higher than predicted usage and it just couldn’t keep up. That changed when they hired Jay Walder or Motivate, the company that now operates the system in NYC.

You can get a Citi Bike membership at any time, and costs range from a Day Pass for $12 (unlimited 30-minute rides in a 24-hour period), a 3-Day Pass for $24 (unlimited 30-minute rides in a 72-hour period), or a full on yearly membership for $163 (unlimited 45-minute rides). There are also discounts for folks who are Citi cardholders, certain credit union members, and a few others. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Whenever the Citi Bike program finds its way to Astoria, that and the current operation of the Astoria Ferry (there’s a Citi Bike station near the ferry!) will make for some excellent options to driving or using the subway for many trips in NYC. It will be nice to have additional transportation choices.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

One Comment

Eric Black

Citibike had responded to a tweet of mine, saying:

Citi Bike‏Verified account @CitiBikeNYC Aug 24

Update: September/October. Hang in there!


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