THE BRONX — Borough residents are fuming mad over Citi Bike’s plans to expand to New Jersey before arriving in The Bronx.
“It is deplorable that Citi Bike is expanding to New Jersey before the rest of the city,” Borough President Ruben Diaz said in a statement. “My borough deserves better, as do the parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that are not currently served by our city’s official bike share program.”
Jersey City is due to receive 35 stations and 350 bikes in September as part of Citi Bike's plan to start serving several new neighborhoods over the next few years.
Citi Bike just opened in Long Island City and has plans to expand to several new neighborhoods within the five boroughs by the end of 2017, including Harlem, Gowanus, Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, but The Bronx has been without the bike-sharing program since its 2013 launch.
He was not surprised but remained disappointed that New Jersey was now getting the bike-share program before The Bronx.
“That’s pretty ridiculous,” he said. “I mean, people jokingly call Jersey City and Jersey the sixth borough— jokingly — but it’s ridiculous that they’re not even touching The Bronx.”
Longtime Bronx environmental advocate Mychal Johnson agreed.
“It’s definitely not equal treatment in the five boroughs,” he said. “I mean, how can you go to Jersey before you go to all five boroughs?”
Citi Bike is working to double in size and just installed the first of more than 350 stations on Wednesday as part of its expansion plans, according to Citi Bike spokeswoman Dani Simons.
"Once we are confident that our expansion is off to a good start, we welcome conversations with City officials on how we can meet the Mayor's goal of bringing Citi Bike to all five boroughs," she said.
The company Motivate, which operates Citi Bike, also operates bike share systems in other cities across the globe and stressed that its efforts to bring Citi Bike to New Jersey would not take away from its efforts to expand in New York.
Conde maintained that The Bronx has a strong biking culture, and residents should just take the matter of getting a local bike-sharing program into their own hands.
“Forget about Citi Bike,” he said. “Let’s create our own system.”