June 27, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Williamsburg residents can expect to see more Citi Bike service in the area soon, as the city announced a major expansion of the bike-share system today to help quell the potential effects of the L train shutdown.
Starting next spring, Citi Bike will add roughly 2,500 new docking points in Williamsburg and Manhattan, and will also introduce approximately 1,250 new bikes to the system, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
Citi Bike will also be expanding valet stations and offering a new pedal-assist “shuttle service” over the Williamsburg Bridge. Valet stations are busy points that are staffed with Citi Bike employees who corral bikes to other points as a way to even out station capacity.
Pedal-assist bicycles, which can help cyclists travel longer distances and climb hills, will be available at the Williamsburg Bridge in both the Manhattan and Williamsburg sides. The bikes are completely new to the 12,000 fleet, and can only be rented and returned from the docking stations near the bridge, of which two will be installed in Williamsburg.
The additional coverage is aimed to help meet increasing demand for bike share and the expected surge in cycling as a result of the Canarsie Tunnel’s closure in April 2019, de Blasio said.
The locations of the docking points in Williamsburg are yet to be determined, and will be decided on with input from Brooklyn Community Board 1.
“In the months ahead, we will work with community boards and elected officials on the ‘infill’ siting of new docking points, so that New Yorkers can expect that a bike will be available and even more conveniently located near wherever they are,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement. “New valet stations and pedal-assist bikes will make Citi Bike an indispensable part of the solutions we are pursuing to meeting the challenges of the L train disruption.”
The Canarsie Tunnel is set to close for 15 months worth of Superstorm Sandy-related repairs next year. Both the MTA and DOT have come up with a preliminary mitigation plan to help address disruptions during the shutdown, with a final plan yet to be released.