Hoboken and Jersey City launch unified bike share system

Citi Bikes allow for easier travel

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop officially launched the new unified bike system with a bike ride. Photo by Jen Brown.
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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop officially launched the new unified bike system with a bike ride. Photo by Jen Brown.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop officially launched the Citi Bike bike-share system with a celebratory bike ride from Jersey City Hall to Hoboken’s Pier A.

The five-year agreement for the newly unified system includes 820 bikes across Jersey City and Hoboken making movement between the two neighboring cities easier than before.

“I am incredibly thrilled to officially launch Citi Bike in Hoboken today,” said Bhalla. “Citi Bike is a proven method of alternative transportation that will instantly provide critical first-mile, last-mile options for our residents and visitors, and substantially improve the quality of life in our Mile Square. Bringing Citi Bike to Hoboken reflects a commitment that I made to residents when I came into office to improve our bike share system, and I am proud to work with Mayor Fulop and his team to create greater connectivity between our two cities.“

“We have worked to significantly expand our transportation infrastructure in a way that creates more affordable mobility options, closes transit gaps, increases access to jobs and education, improves connectivity, among countless other opportunities,” said Fulop. “Expanding our already successful Citi Bike program will not only provide integration with Hoboken for the first time, but Jersey City will also add two stations in Greenville within the first 60 days based on community feedback.”

As part of the agreement, Hoboken will have 29 new docking stations, and Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood will get two new stations, expanding Citi Bike’s current presence to 82 docking stations across the two cities.

“We are happy to welcome Citi Bike back to Ward A as an additional transportation option for residents. We appreciate their willingness to work with my office on locations and setups that are directly aligned with community needs,” said Jersey City’s Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley.

Take a ride anywhere

The fleet will include both pedal bikes and pedal-assist e-bikes which allow riders of varying physical abilities to take longer rides, easily climb hills, and arrive at their destinations more quickly.

The first of 300 new bikes were added in Hoboken this week with additional stations and bikes to be added throughout May and June.

In Hoboken, the new Citi Bike stations will be primarily placed where docking stations under the city’s previous bike-share operator were placed.

Docking stations near regional transit hubs such as Hoboken Terminal, the Grove Street PATH Station, and Journal Square will help create seamless first- and last-mile connections to trains, buses, and ferries.

The expanded system is also part of the regional network, meaning Citi Bike users in Hoboken or Jersey City can also use New York City Citi Bikes.

Chris Adair, president of Bike Hoboken, said: ‘Bikeshare is invaluable in dense, urban areas like Hoboken. It offers people the convenience of a bicycle on demand, without the challenges of having your own, such as repairs, or having to carry it up four flights of stairs to your apartment. Having Citi Bike in Hoboken, Jersey City, and New York City will allow riders to seamlessly get around.”

She said she hopes other neighboring cities like Bayonne, Weehawken, and North Bergen will follow suit.

President of BikeJC Patrick Conlon echoed Adair’s sentiments.

“The logic of having the same bicycle share system in adjacent municipalities is obvious, and we are excited to see this becoming a reality,” he said. “We also look forward to the promised increase of docks outside of downtown Jersey City and the implementation of a protected bike lane between Hoboken and Jersey City. We feel this will help build a more equitable system and add a vital connection to the growing bike lane network in both cities.”

Reduced fares available

Lyft, owner of Citi Bike, offers an annual membership designed to keep riders pedal-powered on the more than 21,000 bikes in the system across New York and New Jersey.

Riders will be able to take a Citi Bike to the PATH in Hoboken or Jersey City and then take another bike to complete their journey once they reach Manhattan.

For $179 per year, annual members can take as many 45-minute rides as they like on a Classic bike or upgrade to an e-bike for an additional $0.12 per minute. Currently, 70 percent of annual Citi Bike members in Jersey City also use Citi Bike in New York.

For nonmembers, a single ride on a Classic pedal bike costs $3.50 for up to 30 minutes. For an additional $0.18 per minute, riders can upgrade to an e-bike.

Reduced fare Citi Bike memberships at $5 per month are also available for Jersey City Housing Authority residents, Hoboken Housing Authority residents, and SNAP recipients.

This reduced fare includes unlimited free rides on classic pedal bikes for up to 45 minutes, and upgrades to an e-bike cost only $0.05 per minute as opposed to $0.12 per minute.

“The Hoboken Housing Authority welcomes Citi Bike as a part of our HHA Community,” said Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Marc Recko.  “The value of available, nearby, and affordable transportation options to many HHA Residents cannot be overstated. With the installation of a bike station right at our Mama Johnson Field and reduced rates for HHA residents, our thanks go to Citi Bike and the City of Hoboken.”

To celebrate Citi Bike’s expansion in New Jersey, Lyft is offering New Jersey residents a first 30-minute ride free on a Citi Bike Classic bike during Memorial Day weekend starting on May 28.

New bike customers can use promo code NJEXPANSION21 in the Lyft app to redeem the offer and unlock a bike.

Hoboken has hired micromobility code enforcement officers to help regulate the bike share system. They will focus on higher traffic areas, including the waterfront and Washington Street in the early weeks of the program.

The city will add “E-bikes prohibited” signs along the waterfront walkway where e-bikes are prohibited per ordinance.

Learn more

Hoboken launched a website dedicated to providing information about the Citi Bike program at https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/bike-share.

More information can also be found at https://www.citibikenyc.com/nj

For questions, concerns or complaints about the bike share program, Hoboken residents can email  bikeshare@hobokennj.gov or submit a comment to Hoboken 311.

A virtual town hall will be held on the bike share expansion on May 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. where residents can learn more about how the new program will work and ask questions.

All attendees will receive a free day pass for Citi Bike.

To register for the town hall go to https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b3W7IV3jToGsPLk0QMHN2A.

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.