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Staten Island Needs Citi Bike, Mayor Says

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 25, 2015 2:26pm
 Mayor Bill de Blasio said that Citi Bike — the city's bike-share system — needs to expand to Staten Island
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that Citi Bike — the city's bike-share system — needs to expand to Staten Island "as soon as possible."
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DNAinfo/Camille Bautista

STATEN ISLAND — Citi Bike needs to expand into Staten Island "as soon as possible," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

Speaking at an unrelated press conference on Monday, de Blasio said that the system needs to grow to serve Staten Island and The Bronx — which currently don't have a single station.

"It has to get to all five boroughs," de Blasio said, according to the Staten Island Advance. "So I certainly want to see it get to Staten Island as soon as possible."

Citi Bike drew criticism earlier this month after it brought 35 stations and 350 bikes to Jersey City before it had any in The Bronx and Staten Island.

“It is deplorable that Citi Bike is expanding to New Jersey before the rest of the city,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said.

“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."

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo sent a letter to the CEO of Citi Bike after their announced expansion to New Jersey asking for a meeting to discuss putting some of the blue bikes in several spots.

He wrote that with the large number of developments headed to the borough's North Shore — like the New York Wheel  — the neighborhoods needs the bike-share system for residents and tourists to get around.

"For far too long, tourists have taken the Staten Island Ferry to marvel at the sites in New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty, disembarked in St. George and gotten the next ferry back to Manhattan," Oddo wrote.

"These new projects will certainly change that, making Staten Island a stand-alone tourist destination. In addition, new housing is coming to the St. George and Stapleton areas, much of it targeting a young and mobile demographic. This new development makes the North Shore ideal for the first Citi Bike stations on Staten Island."

Oddo suggested the bikes could be put at the St. George ferry terminal, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and in front of Urban Ready Living, a residential and business development under construction in Stapleton.

The city is currently pushing to double Citi Bike's fleet by 2017 and recently launched the first Queens station in Long Island City.

The expansion also includes stations in several parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, but none set for Staten Island or The Bronx yet.

At the conference on Monday, de Blasio said that the two borough's forgotten by Citi Bike need to get some stations as part of the expansion.

"I believe that everything needs to be thought about from a five-borough perspective," de Blasio said, according to the Advance.