City Council member Gale Brewer has called on the Department of Transportation to apply for federal funding to expand its bike-share program to the Upper West Side.
In a letter last month, Brewer, the Manhattan Borough president-elect, asked DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan why the city had not applied for funding to expand Citi Bike to more neighborhoods.
“It is clear that there is a market for the bike share program in New York City,” she wrote, following the general trend of Community Board 7’s support for bike expansion efforts. “Why is the NYCDOT not seeking federal funding or private sponsorship to expand this program to serve more New Yorkers?”
Earlier in November, the New York Post reported that the DOT is planning to increase the number of bikes in the program from 6,000 to 10,000 but did not specify a time frame for this expansion or where the new bikes will be located.
In June, West Side Rag quoted a DOT spokesperson saying that, “while there is not a timeline for the expansion of Citi Bike to portions of Manhattan north of 59th St., we are working to bring bike share to those neighborhoods, as well as others in Brooklyn and Queens, as soon as possible.”
Though Brewer supports the program’s expansion, Citi Bike’s launch earlier this year was not met without controversy, as businesses and residents downtown complained to the DOT about the placement of many bike racks. Since the program’s launch in May, 45 percent of rack locations have moved after locals complained.