Home News NYC installs Citi Bike charging docks for e-bikes in Midtown and Brooklyn;...

NYC installs Citi Bike charging docks for e-bikes in Midtown and Brooklyn; more to come

New York City transportation officials on Monday unveiled the first Citi Bike docks with on-site charging for e-bikes — which will keep the bike-share program’s electric rides topped up throughout the day.

The two charging stations announced Monday — one in Midtown and the other in Willamsburg, Brooklyn — are the first in an effort to introduce charging to a fifth of the network’s nearly 2,000 bicycle docks citywide.

Presently, batteries for the bikes are charged in a warehouse and installed by hand by Citi Bike technicians throughout the five boroughs.

The move to connect docks to the power grid and automate charging comes as e-cycling has grown in popularity among Citi Bike riders. Some 15,000 Citi Bikes are battery powered, comprising slightly less than half the fleet.

“E-bikes make it easier for people of all ages and ability levels to choose cycling.” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said Monday.

“I can tell you as someone that’s been living in Inwood my whole life — it is difficult for someone to use a traditional bike if they are at Dyckman and Nagle, and going to St. Nicholas Ave. and 190th [St.],” he said, describing a journey that, while only half a mile long, requires riding up Ft. George Hill.

“E-bikes definitely would make a difference for someone to move around with the challenges of topography that we have in places such as Inwood,” he added.

One of the new charging docks is located at W. 35th St. and Ninth Ave., near Penn Station. The other is at Manhattan Ave. and Meserole St. in Williamsburg.

The two docks are considered the start of a pilot program, with more to be installed going forward.

Caroline Samponaro — head of bike and scooter policy for Lyft, which administers the Citi Bike program for the city — said Monday that if 20% of the systems docking stations could be electrified, riders should be 25% more likely to find a charged bike.

That would also reduce 90% of the manual battery swaps conducted by techs traversing the city in Lyft-operated vans, said Samponaro.

Rodriguez used the unveiling as an opportunity to remind prospective riders of his agency’s e-bike safety education campaign, launched this spring after a particularly deadly year for e-cyclists in 2023.

“Be prepared for the quick acceleration of e-bikes, and the not-so-quick braking,” he said.

Twenty-three people were killed while riding e-bikes in 2023, while seven were killed riding traditional bicycles.

Five of those killed last year were riding Citi Bikes, four of which were electric.

A spokesman for Lyft told the Daily News last month that the firm would be starting its own education campaign regarding safe e-bike use.

In addition to a social media and email campaign targeting e-bike users, the Lyft spokesman said the company would be displaying safety messages on each e-bike’s built-in digital display.

The messages will remind riders that e-bikes take longer to slow down than lighter traditional bikes.

They will also tell e-cyclists not to ride on the sidewalk, to be aware of their blind spots, and to give vehicles such as trucks a wide berth when turning.




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