Cycling connectivity

Hoboken and Jersey City seek combined bike sharing program

Hoboken and Jersey City will work together to procure the same bike-sharing provider.
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Hoboken and Jersey City will work together to procure the same bike-sharing provider.

Jersey City and Hoboken are working together for a combined bike share program according to an announcement by Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop on June 11.

This comes after the pair announced they were in discussions to expand Hudson BikeShare and CitiBike into each other’s respective towns in 2018.

Instead of going that route, both cities have committed to selecting the same bike-share company, will release a request for proposal (RFP) from interested companies, and are expected to roll out a bike-share program together later this year.

“Both Hoboken and Jersey City are leaders in advancing alternative transportation options, and we are thrilled to partner together to utilize the same regional bike share program for our cities,” said the mayors in a joint statement.

“Now, more than ever, a greater number of people are relying on shared transportation for essential services, employment, and more, and a regional approach will substantially improve the quality of life for all of our residents. And, as our communities continue to adapt to COVID-19, this coordinated effort will provide residents and visitors with healthy, socially distanced alternatives to mass transit.”

By choosing one bike-share company for both cities, Mayor Bhalla and Mayor Fulop seek to achieve greater regional connectivity and mobility within both cities, making it easier for residents and visitors to travel within the two communities.

A number of residents within Hoboken and Jersey City regularly commute to and from both cities, and a regional bike share option will provide easier access to employment opportunities and improve both cities’ regional economies.

A regional bike-share company will also help advance safer, alternative transportation options, a central component of both cities’ Vision Zero campaigns to eliminate pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries within 10 years or less.

Jersey City and Hoboken are two of the most bike-friendly communities in New Jersey, with a combined 75 miles of protected bike lanes, conventional bike lanes, and shared lanes.

Hoboken currently uses JerseyBike while Jersey City uses CitiBike for bike sharing.

Personal bike parking in Hoboken

After the announcement, Hoboken Councilman Michael DeFusco announced he would propose legislation at the June 17 City Council meeting to create a permitting process for bicycles with a $52 annual fee which would also allow residents to safely secure their personal bicycles in municipal parking garages. These bikes would also have to display a small City of Hoboken placard similarly to a resident’s motor vehicle that parks on the street.

Residents could also apply for subsidized permits for their bikes but they would be required to install and maintain front and rear taillights.

“Over the past five years, I’ve continued to push for legislation and infrastructure projects that make our streets safer, more walkable and bicyclist-friendly for all of Hoboken,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “As more residents rely on bicycles as their primary mode of transportation, it’s important for us to properly activate space within our city that reflects this shift.

“Sharing the street requires drivers and cyclists alike to work together and abide by the rules and the more bikes with lights on the road helps protect the safety of everyone. Creating this process is a step in the right direction to ensure cyclists are afforded the same parking opportunities as a motorist while being held to additional safety standards.”

The next Hoboken City Council meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.