Share and Share a Bike

Set to launch this July, New York City’s new bike-share program is possibly the biggest new transportation development in the city since the subway. The system will be similar to existing successful plans in London and Paris. Alta Bicycle Sharing, which operates systems in Boston and Washington, D.C., will manage our system as well.

While those programs have about 600 and 1,200 bikes, respectively, New York’s will dwarf them both, with 10,000 bicycles at 600 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

On March 15, local residents, members of Community Board 6, and staff from the Department of Transportation gathered at the Old First Reformed Church for a Bike Share Community Planning Workshop, a chance to learn more about and help shape New York’s bike sharing plan.

There’s no word as of yet on exactly how stations will be split between the two boroughs nor how many will be slated for Park Slope. Community members at the workshop, however, requested sharing spots everywhere from alongside subway stations and schools to in front of major business areas and the edge of Prospect Park. DOT even brought along a bike-share bicycle, letting residents quite literally kick the tires and see just what they’ll get to ride beginning this summer.

So what’s next for bike share? DOT will compile residents’ suggestions and return to Community Board 6 in May with a more specific list of locations. While no on can say with any certainty where stations will be located as of press time, one thing is for sure: Bike sharing is going to be big.

[UPDATE: On May 7, the DOT announced that Citigroup will be the official sponsor of the bike-share program, which will be launched in July as CitiBike. Read more here

— Doug Gordon blogs about bicycling, livable streets, and sustainable transportation at

from the Spring 2012 Civic News