NYC Official: Citi Bike NOT Coming to Queens in September

Monday, July 29, 2013 - 02:55 PM

Long Island City, Queens (Wally G/flickr)

In a sign of how popular bike share has become, Jimmy Van Bramer, the council member from Long Island City, said in no uncertain terms Monday that Citi Bike would come to his district in September.  But the New York City DOT says that's not the case.

The Queens neighborhood -- along with Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint -- was originally slated to be part of the first phase of Citi Bike's rollout, only to be cut from the program when Sandy flooded equipment stored at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Since then, Van Bramer has been pushing for bike share to come to his district.

According to a story quoting the councilman in the Queens Tribune, the NYC DOT was planning to roll it out in Long Island City soon. "This had not been part of the original plan," he said, "but we were able to change the map to include western Queens.”

TN asked him about it. “What I’ve been told, and what we’ve heard, even as late as today, is they are still hoping to make this happen by the end of summer," Van Bramer said. "That date is September 21, as we all know.”

Not so, according to the NYC DOT.

"This is inaccurate information," said DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow. He added that while Long Island City was part of Citi Bike's original phase 1 plan, "the claim of September is not accurate."

He said the city has no timeline yet for the program's expansion.

“I don’t understand the discrepancy," said Van Bramer.

One holdup: funding.

When Citi Bike launched on Memorial Day with 6,000 bikes, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the city was seeking additional corporate sponsors and talking to the Small Business Administration "for a loan to make up for the bikes that were lost during Sandy."

Only when that funding was obtained, could the gray dots on the below map be turned to blue -- reaching the full complement of 7,000 bikes originally planned for the first phase.

(New York Citi Bike Station Map)





Comments [4]


Queens is the one borough where people would actually USE the bikes to get to and from work. We need bike share out here more than anywhere! This will be an election issue, Melinda.

Aug. 13 2013 07:03 AM
dave from long island city

No surprises here. DOT Chair Sadek-Kahn wants only high usage numbers. Funny how the Citibank building in Long Island City has NO bike share.

Jul. 31 2013 02:57 PM

Hey Jon: Interesting. But Councilman Van Bramer did tell me Tuesday that he was still hearing from the DOT Citi Bike could come to LIC in September -- which the DOT contradicted. So there's some confusion.

Jul. 30 2013 03:52 PM

Hi Kate,

Van Bramer did NOT say that yesterday, he said that in April:

That Queens Trib article was a rehash at best, plagiarism at worst, of a three-month-old Queens Gazette article.

Jul. 30 2013 01:23 PM

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