The company responsible for the Citi Bikes bicycle sharing program has said that 1,000 new bikes will be made available.
Motivate made the announcement on Sunday, and the redesigned bikes are set to be released onto the streets of New York this summer. As well as the addition of 1,000 new units in June, the company announced that the expansion of the scheme will see another 1,400 bicycles released later this year, writes Peter Jenkins for NYC Today.
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New bikes for an extended Citi Bikes scheme
The scheme is set to be extended into Brooklyn and Queens, and the new bicycles will feature a slimmer redesign, courtesy of Olympic racing bike designer Ben Serrota.
“You’re being supported in areas you need to be supported,” Serrota said about the new bikes. He has designed bikes which have featured in the Olympics, in addition to the National, European and World Championship titles.
A spokesperson for Citi Bikes revealed that of the 2,400 redesigned bikes which will be added in 2015, 1,000 will be put onto the streets of New York by the end of June. However older models of the bicycles will be withdrawn from service.
According to the spokesperson, the new models boast a more comfortable saddle, an upgraded gear system and a two-pronged kick stand in the European style. They are also made of more durable materials.
Overhaul designed to combat past issues
The scheme has proved popular with New Yorkers but it has not been without its problems. The bikes have suffered reliability issues, and there were also problems with its software. Glitches, broken docking stations and an accompanying app which often provided dud information all caused issues for the service last summer.
Motivate’s President and CEO Jay Walder said that the release of the new bikes is part of a drive to make the Citi Bikes program more efficient. “We have now replaced the software and hardware at all 330 stations and 12,000 docking points, and have overhauled more than 90% of our 6,000 bikes,” he said.
Although the cost of the service has increased, the number of Citi Bike users is up 10% year-on-year, and riders have made 60% fewer phone calls to its customer service center.