BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Citi Bike is gearing up for its expansion into the rest of Bedford-Stuyvesant this year with planned community outreach and enrollment slated for this summer.
The local organization received a $75,000 grant in April from the PeopleForBikes Foundation, a national cycling group that works to increase bike share use in underserved communities.
“Promoting health and wellness is a key part of Restoration’s mission to improve the quality of life in Brooklyn,” said Tracey Capers, Restoration’s executive vice president for programs and organizational development.
“Toward this end, the Bike Share program is a great way to get in shape, get to know your neighborhood, save money and improve the environment. As the weather gets warmer, we hope that more of our neighbors will take advantage of this resource.”
Bed-Stuy is one of several neighborhoods throughout the city where Citi Bike is expanding, including Red Hook, Crown Heights, Long Island City, Astoria and Harlem. The citywide expansion is expected to double the number of bike-sharing stations from 330 to more than 700 by the end of 2017.
The bikes have already rolled out in the western section of Bed-Stuy, with nine stations from Classon to Nostrand avenues, according to a recent Department of Transportation presentation to Brooklyn's Community Board 3.
But Bed-Stuy riders make up only 4 percent of Citi Bike’s estimated 90,000 total members citywide, according to Citi Bike spokeswoman Dani Simons.
Citi Bikes were originally supposed to reach the eastern portion of the neighborhood during the 2013 rollout. But sites were scaled back after Hurricane Sandy, when the storm surge damaged equipment stored at the Brooklyn Navy Yard bike share warehouse.
This summer’s community outreach is an opportunity to make the system “more inclusive” and continue to invite members to join, Simons added.
“The big idea is to increase participation among Bed-Stuy residents, focusing on lower-income residents and residents of color,” she said.
Citi Bike offers a discounted annual membership for NYCHA residents.
The new stations are expected to be installed by the end of 2015, Simons said, and educational programs at Restoration will launch in the coming months.