“Since Citi Bike won’t come to Howard Beach or New Dorp or Mott Haven or dozens of other neighborhoods, you should allow Citi Bike’s competitors to expand in these areas,” Councilman Ulrich wrote in his letter to the City Department of Transportation.
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) this week called on the de Blasio administration to allow Citi Bike’s competitors to serve so-called transportation deserts—NYC communities that have limited access to transit resources—including many of the South Queens neighborhoods in his 32nd Council District.
“Citi Bike’s recent string of expansion announcements has left me wondering when my constituents will get fair access to bike share,” Ulrich wrote Tuesday in a letter addressed to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and DOT Deputy Commissioner for Policy Michael Replogle.
The councilman also notes in his missive that there “is an easy enough solution for this problem,” and that the agency has the power to enact it.
“Since Citi Bike won’t come to Howard Beach or New Dorp or Mott Haven or dozens of other neighborhoods, you should allow Citi Bike’s competitors to expand in these areas,” Ulrich posited. “Healthy competition and choice are two important values that drive New York City’s economy, and it makes no sense that millions of New Yorkers should have to live with a monopoly that doesn’t even serve them.”
The councilman later notes in his letter that healthy competition and choice would bolster access to bike share for his underserved constituents, and that it “wouldn’t even take very long” to get going.
“It’s time to give other bike share companies a shot at growing their fleets and expanding their footprints across the city,” Ulrich added.
A DOT spokesperson told The Forum on Wednesday, “We look forward to reviewing the Council Member’s letter when we receive it.”