Yesterday, New York City officials announced a new bikeshare system that will be available to New Yorkers in 2012. The city selected Alta Bicycle Share to operate and launch an initial system with 10,500 bicycles and 600 stations around Manhattan and Brooklyn, which will mark the first phase of the system. City officials plan the system will later expand in two additional phases to cover the entire island of Manhattan and large portions of Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens.
The exact amount of an annual membership is not yet determined but a Department of Transportation website says that the membership will cost less than a monthly MetroCard, which costs $104. Washington, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare system has an annual membership cost of $75; Montreal’s BIXI Bikeshare costs $78 and Toronto’s costs $95; and London’s Barclays Cycle Hire system costs £45 (US$71).
More interestingly, the city is reaching out the public to determine locations for its 600 bikeshare stations. Those interested in participating can suggest a location for a possible station through a site built for New York City’s newest transit option. The map on which you suggest a station is currently densely populated with little icons of people on bicycles, indicating enthusiasm from the public.
The website for the project indicates that the most successful program will have stations located in dense networks—about every three blocks. The city is placing quite a bit of emphasis on public input, aiming for an intensive community process, working with residents, business owners, community boards, elected officials and other stakeholders.
The project will initially start in the Central Business District and nearby residential areas to supply bikes to trips shorter than three miles. These residential areas include parts of Brooklyn, like DUMBO, Downtown, Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Park Slope.
Learn more about the bikeshare program in an article by Janette Sadik-Khan, the NYC commissioner for transportation, here.