Despite high ridership and a stellar safety record, the Citi Bike program won’t be expanding beyond its current slate of 6,000 bikes and 332 stations any time in the near future. According to WNYC, the Department of Transportation announced that it wouldn’t be bringing the blue bikes to Astoria and Jackson Heights for another 18 to 24 months at a Community Board 1 meeting this week.
Apparently, the issue is in funding. The program was supposed to launch 7,000 bikes and 420 stations (many were damaged in Hurricane Sandy) with full funding from Citi Bank, and now, the city is seeking money from the federal government to cover the missing equipment. Representatives from the DOT wouldn’t comment to WNYC about whether Citi Bank was backing out of funding the program to its originally planned level.
“NYC Bike share has sought federal and other funds that would add 1,000 bikes and 90 additional stations to Long Island City, Bedford-Stuyvesant and elsewhere,” said DOT spokesman Scott Gastel.