The following is an op-ed by Kris Sandor, Citi Bike General Manager:
Bronx residents have been asking for Citi Bike since the day the system first appeared in New York City back in 2013. Today, we can celebrate that the borough’s first blue bikes are finally on their way.
The dockless version of Citi Bike will roll out across a wide swath of the Bronx in the next few weeks—bounded by West Fordham Road, Southern Boulevard, the Cross Bronx Expressway and University Avenue, as part of a dockless pilot program taking place across New York City.
These bikes are a little different: instead of docking at a station, they can be parked anywhere that’s convenient, safe, and out of the way. These new bikes can be located, locked and unlocked using the Citi Bike app, which controls a lock on the rear wheel.
But what does this pilot program mean for you, as someone who lives or works here in the Bronx?
First, it means increased access—not just here in the Bronx, but all across the city:
Dockless Citi Bikes will complement MetroNorth, the subway and buses in Central Bronx, making it easier than ever to get around the neighborhood. And remember: a Citi Bike membership purchased here in the Bronx can also be used at any of the 750 stations across Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn to pick up any one of our 12,000 docked bikes using the same Citi Bike app. Already a Citi Bike member? You have automatic access to these new dockless bikes.
If you’re downtown for work, just hop on a Citi Bike and get to your train, office, dinner date or gym in minutes. When you get back to the Bronx, our dockless bikes will be waiting for you here for a quick ride home. Looking to explore a new neighborhood? Use your membership to enjoy a spin through Brooklyn Heights, Astoria, or along the Hudson River Greenway. Have a downtown friend who already has a membership? Take them for a ride to your favorite spot on Arthur Avenue or a visit to the Bronx Zoo.
And the best part? You’re unbeholden to fixed routes or schedules — you can explore the city at your leisure.
Second, the system is available and affordable for everyone.
As Citi Bike arrives in the Bronx, our most important mission is to ensure that everyone here feels ownership of the system. This new dockless program is for all of us. That’s why we partnered with the de Blasio administration and Healthfirst to create a new program allowing SNAP recipients to get a Citi Bike membership for just $5 per month, with no annual commitment. That’s less than $0.25 a day.
While residents of NYCHA housing have long had access to this $5/month program, it no longer comes with an obligatory year-long commitment; you can try it for a month or two, see how it fits into your life and your budget, and choose whether or not to continue.
To apply for this discount, all you need to do is visit the Citi Bike website at citibikenyc.com/SNAP and enter your EBT card number or NYCHA tenant ID.
Third, thanks to your Citi Bike membership, you’ll be supporting good, skilled green jobs for New Yorkers.
We are proud to be a strong partner with the Transport Workers Union in bringing New Yorkers good, respected, union jobs. More than 480 proud New Yorkers now work for Citi Bike, building a growing “green collar” workforce focused on environmentally-sustainable industries, with jobs that include benefits, professional training, and opportunities for advancement.
If you’re interested in working for Citi Bike, visit the website here to fill out an application!
Citi Bike is as New York as the Grand Concourse, New York Botanical Garden or Arthur Avenue. We look forward to working with everyone who lives and works here to make it an integral part of your experience of the city.
Stay tuned as we keep you posted to the official launch date of Citi Bikes in The Bronx!