How Low-Cost Bike Share Can Open New Doors in the Bronx
Having access to a bicycle can be transformational for people and for neighborhoods.
For individuals, biking unlocks new opportunities, connects friends and family, and comes with a host of health benefits. For neighborhoods, more people riding bikes cleans the air by reducing car usage, strengthens the economy, lessens congestion, and reduces car dependency.
With Citi Bike’s continued expansion into the Bronx, the benefits of biking will be magnified. Already, Citi Bike’s popularity in the Bronx has led to a push for more protective infrastructure investments in the borough.
In the Bronx, 58.6 percent of households are car-free. Despite this, large transit deserts leave scores of Bronx residents without access to the subway, while buses crawl along congested streets.
Biking changes this by opening up opportunities beyond walking. It closes the gap between the subway and jobs, between the bus stop and a doctor’s appointment. Low-cost bike share enables trips that can be faster and cheaper than rideshare would be. With reduced fares for NYCHA and SNAP recipients, Citi Bike is a sustainable and affordable option for more people.
Reducing health disparities
Robert Moses-era highway projects and historic disinvestment tore through the borough, and left the Bronx and far too many communities of color behind. The effect? Higher rates of asthma, higher air pollution, and worse health outcomes.
Air pollution from particulate matter is directly linked to heart disease and asthma, and car traffic is a leading contributor to air pollution. Reclaiming space for cars and converting it into space for people, as we’ve laid out in NYC 25x25, can reduce car usage — lowering particulate matter levels and leading to cleaner air.
Investing in bike infrastructure helps lessen the gaps created by car dependency. The Bronx — the borough with the highest rate of poverty — is home to only six percent of all on-street protected bike lanes.
Building a network of low-cost bike share coupled with high quality, protected bike lanes creates a more equitable city, while giving residents in the Bronx more options. In 2022, the NYC DOT plans to bring more protected bike lanes to the Bronx, while Citi Bike continues its Phase 3 expansion into the South Bronx, Morrisania, University Heights, Belmont, Fordham.