The Cities of Jersey City and Hoboken have announced that they have come to terms with a Citi Bike share program, which was made possible in collaboration with Lyft.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“It’s a pivotal moment as we work to foster safer and healthier solutions to the unprecedented challenges we’re currently facing due to the pandemic, and this bike share partnership is the innovate approach people are looking for to avoid crowded mass transit and opt for a safer, healthier, low-cost, and efficient means of travel,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“We’ve already seen how widely utilized Citi Bike has been in Jersey City, and I’m excited to expand that mobility beyond our city borders, making it much easier for residents and visitors to travel between the two communities for work, shopping, dining, and more.”
The new program will be interoperable with Citi Bike NYC, so members of the Hoboken-Jersey City Bike Share Program can rent Citi Bikes in New York at no additional cost.
“I am thrilled that Hoboken will be joining Jersey City in upgrading our bike share system to Citi Bike,” added Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
“This system will provide an integrated transportation option between Hoboken and Jersey City that is safe, affordable and convenient for residents, which is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only will Citi Bike provide for improved connectivity between our two cities but will also allow Hoboken residents to now utilize Citi Bike in New York City with one membership.”
The combined Hoboken-Jersey City bike share system will initially include 800 bikes and 82 stations, making it one of the largest bike share programs in the eastern part of the country.
During initial deployment, Lyft will maintain and make necessary upgrades to the existing 51 Citi Bike stations in Jersey City and will add 2 new stations on the south side of the city.
In an effort to focus investments in underserved neighborhoods, Lyft will work with Jersey City to locate 75 percent of the new stations outside of Downtown.
As for Hoboken, Lyft will install 30 new stations which will effectively replace the existing Hudson Bike Share stations.
Starting in 2021, the system expansion in Jersey City will include an additional 15 new stations and 200 bikes, for a total program buildout of 95 stations and 1,000 bikes.
Lyft will work with the City of Hoboken to add more stations in 2021 as well, pending available funding.
“We welcome Citi Bike to Hoboken and look forward to a bike share system that integrates seamlessly with our neighbors in Jersey City and Manhattan,” stated Bike Hoboken President Chris Adair.
“Bike JC knows that many people who use bike share daily will be happy to be able to use a bike share system that is cross-compatible with our next door neighbors in Hoboken,” exclaimed Bike JC President Patrick Conlon.
Additionally, 40 percent of the bike share fleet will consist of pedal-assist electric bikes. The pedal-assist e-bikes, which are currently deployed in New York City, do not have a throttle, so riders will be required to pedal just like a conventional bike in order to for the electric assist to activate.
The pedal-assist bikes will help riders travel further distances between the two cities to access employment opportunities, patronize local businesses, visit friends and family, and more. The pedal-assist bikes will be required to be parked at Citi Bike docking stations.
“A bike share program that links with New York City and Jersey City has been the top request from Hoboken bike enthusiasts. This will make a lot of our residents happy,” noted Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the chair of the city’s Transportation and Parking Subcommittee.
The Citi Bike agreement also includes better revenue share for both cities with five percent of annual ridership revenue above $2 million to be evenly distributed.
Finally, the new Hoboken-Jersey City bike share program contract will be subject to adoption from both city councils.
Back in June, officials from both cities announced that they were working on a joint bike share program.