Hoboken City Council approves Lyft deal to greenlight joint Citi Bike venture with Jersey City

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The Hoboken Council approved a five-year contract with Lyft, the the owner of Citi Bike, to greenlight a joint bike share venture with Jersey City that will bring 300 bicycles to the Mile Square City.

Hoboken Director of Transportation and Parking Ryan Sharp (left) and Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

By May 3, Lyft will begin phasing in approximately 200 bikes and 15 stations within Hoboken. Then by this summer, Lyft will add another 100 bikes and another 14 stations for a total of 300 bikes and 29 stations.

The new bike share program will be fully interoperable with Citi Bike programs in Jersey City and New York City, giving members from Hoboken seamless access to the nation’s largest bike share system with more than 16,000 bikes and 1,000 stations at no additional cost.

Hoboken’s agreement with Lyft was approved at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting by an 8-1 vote.

“I’m thrilled that Citi Bike is now officially coming to Hoboken. The new bike share system will substantially enhance the ability for residents to travel to transportation hubs, patronize our local businesses, visit family and friends, and get to work,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“And now, residents can seamlessly utilize Citi Bike in neighboring Jersey City and New York City at no additional cost, providing additional connectivity and convenience for users. Residents have been consistent in their feedback that they wanted Citi Bike to come to Hoboken, and I’m glad we were able to deliver in bringing this program to our Mile Square.”

Last week, the Jersey City Council entered into a five-year agreement with Lyft to extend and expand their Citi Bike program.

According to the terms of the approved contract approved, Jersey City will have a total of 53 stations and 650 bikes, for a total of 950 throughout the entire Hoboken-Jersey City system.

“We are excited to enable Citi Bike’s growth in New Jersey. We’re very proud of this public-private partnership, which has created a sustainable and healthy way to get around. People want different transportation options and we want to be part of the solution,” added Citi Head of Public Affairs Edward Skyler.

“Having the same bikeshare as Jersey City and New York City will improve the experience for all bikeshare users. We applaud the Hoboken and Jersey City councils for recognizing that bikeshare is valuable enough to subsidize and hope both cities will work together to prioritize a protected bike lane that will safely connect our communities,” noted Bike Hoboken President Chris Adair.

The Hoboken-Jersey City bike share system furthers the Vision Zero goals of both cities to eliminate transportation deaths and serious injuries.

40 percent of the entire system will eventually become pedal assist e-bikes, providing additional options for residents to get around Hoboken and Jersey City.

The pedal-assist e-bikes will be slowly phased in over the course of four months, and will begin with 40 in the Hoboken system by May 3.

Last year, through the New York City Citi Bike system, 3,500 pedal-assist e-bikes in New York have logged over 3.5 million trips over the last year. The e-bikes require a pedal from the user to receive an extra boost from the bike, and do not have a throttle.

Hoboken residents will have the option to purchase a $179 yearly membership which will include unlimited 45-minute rides on either a classic Citi Bike or e-bike, for an additional $0.10 per minute.

Additionally, Hoboken’s contract with Lyft includes substantially discounted Citi Bike memberships for SNAP recipients and residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority, of $5 per month. Veterans can also receive a discounted membership of $35 per year.

For those without a membership, a single ride on a classic pedal bike will cost $3.50 for up for 30 minutes, and an additional $0.15 per minute to upgrade to a pedal-assist e-bike.

Lyft will work closely with the City of Hoboken to install stations at locations previously utilized by Jersey Bike, Hoboken’s previous bike share system.

Now, between Hoboken and Jersey City, there are a combined 75 miles of protected bike lanes, conventional bike lanes, and shared lanes.

“It seemed crazy to me that 3 years ago, I was the first one to propose unifying our bike share system with @CitiBikeJC +@CitiBikeNYC,” 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco tweeted.

“Today I’m happy that by working together with the mayor and via a near-unanimous vote of #Hoboken City Council, we made it a reality!”

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