Citi Bike Reinforcing Fleet To Help Commuters During L Train Shutdown

June 27, 2018 - 11:14 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- More Citi Bikes are coming to New York City in anticipation of the L train shutdown next year.

Citi Bike said it will add another 1,250 bikes -- about a 10th of its current city fleet -- as well as 2,500 docking stations to help people get around when the L train tunnel connecting Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan closes for repairs in April 2019.

Officials said they expect to see a surge in cycling during the L train disruption next spring.

"It's really essential for the (Williamsburg) Bridge for sure, I think it'll get a lot more people on bikes who might not have rode them otherwise," said Claire Brennan with the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. "I would rather have people get on bikes than cars for sure."

But professional drivers who spend all day on the roads do not relish the thought of hundreds of new bikers, WCBS 880's Mike Sugerman reported.

"They think that they have the space for them, the whole street so it's going to be difficult, more accidents maybe," one driver said.

It's a continuing battle on the roads between bikes and cars, which the city's transportation chief Polly Trottenberg understands.

"You know one of my big challegenes as DOT commissioner in a growing city is to try and balance the competing demands we have on our limited street space," said Trottenberg. "But we do think it's very essential to try and move people on the most efficient modes of transportation that's going to be subways, that's going to be buses, that's going to be bikes."

Trottenberg rode a Citi Bike across the Williamsburg Bridge to publicize the announcement and hopes more people will use them.