Jersey City’s Citi Bike program will expand to 150 additional bikes and 15 new stations after the City Council adopted a resolution approving the new agreement on Feb. 24.
The agreement should provide more connectivity with Hoboken if the City Council there approves the agreement at an upcoming meeting.
“We have had great success in our valued partnership with Lyft, and this agreement is the latest step in our commitment to establish a comprehensive transportation network that includes mass transit, the Via system we implemented, and the growing bike share program, to better connect our residents to jobs, schools, and other important opportunities,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
“In addition to having integration with Hoboken for the first time, as part of this agreement, Jersey City will immediately add two stations in Greenville based on community feedback. From there, the contract states we will add 15 stations with priority in Greenville, West Side, and The Heights.”
Under the five-year agreement, the unified system will include a total of 950 bikes, 650 in Jersey City and 300 in Hoboken.
The fleet will include both pedal bikes and pedal-assist ebikes which will allow riders of varying physical abilities to take longer rides, easily climb hills, and arrive at their destinations more quickly.
The agreement consists of 82 docking stations, including the 51 existing Citi Bike stations in Jersey City that will expand to 66 stations under the agreement, and all new stations in Hoboken.
The first two new stations in Jersey City will be installed in Greenville within the first 60 days.
Previously, Hoboken partnered with Hudson Bike Share; residents who moved between Hoboken and Jersey City couldn’t easily commute between the two as neither had the other’s docking stations.
The expanded system with Citi Bike will allow riders to be part of a large regional network with annual members having access to all Citi Bikes across New York and New Jersey.
Currently, 70 percent of annual Citi Bike members in Jersey City also use Citi Bike in New York, according to the city.
Lyft has added real-time transit arrivals in both the Lyft and Citi Bike mobile apps to help riders plan rides that include both bike share and regional transit systems such as PATH, HBLR, New Jersey Transit, and NY Waterway.
“This is a big step toward continuing to grow Citi Bike’s role as a truly regional bike share program that meets the first- and last-mile commute needs of New Jersey residents, who often have bikeshare transportation needs on both sides of the Hudson,” said Laura Fox, general manager for Citi Bike at Lyft. “With the addition of pedal-assist ebikes and transit planning in both the Lyft and Citi Bike apps, Citi Bike riders in New Jersey will have more ways to get around that are fast, affordable, and convenient.”
For $179 per year, annual members can take as many 45-minute rides as they like on a classic bike or upgrade to an ebike for an additional $0.10/min.
A single ride on a classic pedal bike costs $3 for up to 30 minutes. For an additional $0.15 per minute, riders can upgrade to an ebike.
Lyft, the owner of Citi Bike, offers a Citi Bike reduced fare membership that costs $5 per month for Jersey City Housing Authority, Hoboken Housing Authority, and SNAP recipients, which includes unlimited free rides on classic pedal bikes for up to 45 minutes. Per-minute pricing on ebikes is reduced to $0.05/min.
Lyft offers a user rewards program called Bike Angels, currently running in Jersey City.
By rewarding users for adjusting their origin or destination away from stations that are full based on real-time and forecasted system conditions, the Bike Angels program increases bike availability across the system.
These users are then rewarded with ride passes, membership extensions, and gift cards depending on how many points they earn through the program.
Committing to cycling
Through the Jersey City Bicycle Master Plan, adopted in 2019, Jersey City has set the goal of quadrupling cycling levels in the city by 2025.
The city has installed more than 10 miles of protected bike lanes and implemented other Vision Zero initiatives, which, according to Director of Transportation Planning Barkha Patel, have contributed to a significant increase in biking and walking, especially during the pandemic.
“This partnership with the City of Hoboken and Lyft reflects the community’s longstanding desire for an interoperable system that makes cycling between our two cities easy and convenient,” she said. “We expect to see more and more people using bikes to get around as we continue to expand our transportation infrastructure and connect all of our neighborhoods with affordable, healthy, and efficient transportation options.”