There’s good news and bad news for North Brooklynites who’ve been wondering when the hell Citi Bike would come above North 3rd Street. Today the bike-share service, which just got a new parent company and CEO, announced in an email to members that it will add 6,000 new bikes and 375 new stations by 2017. The first of those stations, to be installed next year, will be in Greenpoint, northern Williamsburg and Long Island City. Bushwick will eventually get service as well — though for the forceable future it’ll have to make do with that double-decker Citi Bike. Other neighborhoods slated for service are Bed-Stuy, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, and Gowanus.
Now the bad (though not surprising) news: yearly membership will — at a date to be announced — go up from $95 to $149, though current members can renew now at the same rate.
Higher membership fees won’t be the only infusion of money that will allow the financially challenged bike-share program to upgrade its equipment and double in size by 2017: according to a Department of Transportation press release, Alta’s new parent company Bikeshare Holdings LLC — made up of the CEOs of Equinox and Related Companies, as well as private investor Jonathan Schulhof — is chipping in $30 million, and Citi has increased and extended its sponsorship commitment to as much as $70.5 million through 2024.
With the new money comes a new CEO Jay Walder, who was Chairman and CEO of the MTA for a couple of years under Bloomberg (he’s the one that brought those nifty countdown clocks to the L train).
In the release, Council Member Antonio Reynoso — who represents Bushwick — said he was pleased by the network’s expansion but “concerned about the plan to increase the cost of membership.” He said he hoped Alta would “continue to offer membership discounts to NYCHA residents and other New Yorkers in need.” According to the Department of Transportation, annual membership fees for New York City Housing Authority residents will remain at $60.