In a city where cars are often the least efficient way to get from point A to point B, it comes as no surprise that the two-year-old CitiBike program has been a resounding success, with New Yorkers getting plenty of mileage out of the current fleet of bicycles. Too much mileage, perhaps.
As a result, the fleet is getting a much needed makeover, with 1,000 new CitiBikes coming by the end of June, and another 1,400 to be rolled out when CitiBike comes to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint in Brooklyn for the first time. The timing couldn’t be better, as the current collection of CitiBikes are in desperate need of repair and have certainly seen their fair share of better days.
The new bikes are the brainchildren of Olympic racing bike designer Ben Serrota, who partnered with Motivate to produce the new line. They will be a huge improvement over the bicycles currently in circulation, a Motivate statement reads, with seats that will address the pesky problem of pooling, or standing water after a rainstorm, a sturdier kick-stand, and perhaps most important, an ergonomic design that will be “easier on the backside.” After all, if you’re planning on spending all day pedaling around New York City, you better not be in pain.
The bikes also come with an improved gear system for navigating the city’s varying terrain and an asserted promise that they “feel faster,” though whether they actually are speedier than their predecessors is an open question. Still, these upgrades will come as welcome news to the many New Yorkers who employ the conveniently located CitiBike stations to quickly navigate the busy streets of the city.
The bikes aren’t the only things getting makeovers as part of the program’s improvements. Said Motivate’s President and CEO Jay Walder, “We have now replaced the software and hardware at all 330 stations and 12,000 docking points, and have overhauled more than 90% of our 6,000 bikes.” So keep on pedaling, New York City.