This item is up because it is an alternative to the monopoly and high prices that Citibike has.
The Bike Share Company Seeks to Provide Transportation Alternatives to a Community Citi Bike Has Refused to Expand to
Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato (left), State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (center), and Councilman Eric Ulrich (right) ride in protest of Mayor de Blasio's cease-and-desist letter to the bike share company.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, Community Board 14 Chair Dolores Orr, Rockaway Beach Civic Association (RBCA) President John Cori, and other community leaders rallied in support of bringing Spin, a dockless bike share company, to the Rockaway Peninsula.
The San Francisco-based bike share company had initially planned to launch a pop-up pilot program this past , but just three days prior, on August 11, Mayor de Blasio and the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) ordered Spin cease-and-desist operations in the Rockaways - a community that Citi Bike has refused to expand to.
"My office has been reaching out to Citi Bike for years to request they expand into the Rockaways, but they have refused. My constituents are starving for transportation alternatives, but our Mayor would rather protect a public monopoly than expand sensible bike sharing," Councilman Ulrich said. "Spin has offered to hire locally and collaborate with area businesses in a community that Citi Bike and the City continues to ignore."
An earlier report, which cites "a source familiar with the negotiations with the City," claims that Citi Bike offered to roll out to the Rockaways, but that its proposal fell through. A 2016 email exchange between Ulrich's office and a Citi Bike rep indicate otherwise, with the rep apologizing for "the radio silence" and flat out rejecting an expansion to the Peninsula.
"Apologies for the radio silence and thank you for following up," the Citi Bike rep writes in the email. "I appreciate the guidance you gave us about station placement etc., but unfortunately we're moving in a different direction this summer and will have to shelve this idea for now."
"The Mayor talks about a 'tale of two cities,' but seems to have forgotten that outer-borough communities, like the Rockaways, also have needs," Councilman Ulrich said. "Companies like Spin can help to fill the void in these underserved areas, but de Blasio would rather side with the special interests than the people of New York City."
Other local electeds echoed in Ulrich's sentiments, criticizing the City for putting the brakes on Spin's pilot program, which would have placed 100 to 150 Spin bikes along the Peninsula.
"People all across this city should have access to affordable, feasible bicycle rentals - especially those individuals outside of Manhattan and in geographically isolated areas like Rockaway," State Senator Joseph Addabbo said. "I am hopeful that the Mayor's Administration, along with its NYC DOT, can come to a professional agreement with Spin, in order to allow people to benefit from a credible service provider and enjoy the accommodation of having accessibility to bicycle rentals."
"The New York City bureaucracy should be there to help solve problems; but here, they're creating one," Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. "Councilman Eric Ulrich has been trying to get us bike sharing, which would be a good step toward fixing our lack of transit options. It seems like the City both ignored our request for bikes and then blocked us when we tried to get our own."
"Community Board 14 is excited about Spin and their alternative dockless bike share system hopefully coming to the Rockaways, a community hungry for transportation alternatives," Community Board 14 Chair Dolores Orr said.
Spin has committed to hire locally to manage operations, balance bike distribution, monitor usage and ensure high service standards. Instead of competing with businesses along and near the boardwalk, Spin plans to utilize the Peninsula's many resources.
Repairs to Spin's bicycles have been contracted out Paul's Bicycle Shop, which would help boost business and will serve as a model for future.