Bike sharing comes to Brooklyn

May 15, 2012 by  

Excitement is growing for Brooklyn residents. Soon, the borough will have stations that house a different kind of public transportation: bikes.

According to an announcement by Mayor Bloomberg in early May, New York City will launch its bike sharing program in time for the summer season. Newly released maps show several of the planned bike stations will be located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods. “Citi Bike” will put 10,000 blue bicycles on the street, each sporting the logo of the New York-based Citigroup bank, who are sponsoring the endeavor.

In a city where about half of the workforce lives within five miles of its workplace, this type of low-cost transit system makes sense. “The idea behind bike share is simple: give people one more way to get around town”, said Mayor Bloomberg.

Bike station installations will begin in July with each docking area able to accommodate between 15 and 60 bikes. Annual membership is expected to cost $95; an affordable price thanks to Citigroup’s sponsorship. The yearly fee will entitle members to use the system as often as they like provided each ride is no more than 45 minutes. Longer trips will incur an extra charge.

The physical health benefits for bike users are well-known and everyone gains when people can travel in more environmentally sound, efficient, and economically feasible ways. Advantages also extend to local businesses, since every sector involved in the production and maintenance of the cycles and stands, from bike pedal manufacturers to the printing services producing the Citigroup decals, stand to profit from the city’s bike sharing initiative.