No Timeline Yet for Citi Bike's Launch in Long Island City, DOT Says

By Jeanmarie Evelly on August 1, 2013 1:02pm 

 The DOT said it has no set timeline for when Citi Bike will expand to Long Island City and parts of Brooklyn.
The DOT said it has no set timeline for when Citi Bike will expand to Long Island City and parts of Brooklyn.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

LONG ISLAND CITY — The Department of Transportation said it has yet to set a timeline for when Citi Bike will launch in Long Island City, the first Queens neighborhood included in plans for the popular bike share program.

The DOT says it's hoping to launch the second phase of Citi Bike — planned for Long Island City, Greenpoint and the north side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn — as soon as possible, but says the expansion is contingent on Hurricane Sandy relief funds needed to order equipment.

Those three neighborhoods were supposed to be included in the initial bike share roll out, the DOT said, but were delayed after Citi Bike gear was damaged by flooding in Brooklyn during the storm.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has said he was told the 10 Citi Bike docking stations planned for Hunters Point would start operating this fall.

But the DOT could not confirm a date, and said it's waiting on relief funding in the form of a U.S. Small Business Administration loan before it can move forward.

Van Bramer, state Sen. Michael Gianaris and a number of community groups have been pushing to fast-track bike sharing to Long Island City, and to bring it to other neighborhoods in Western Queens, including Sunnyside and Astoria.

The DOT said Sunnyside is included in plans for a third phase of Citi Bike expansion, though it does not have a timeline for when that will be.

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