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Citi Bike set to become biggest bike-share outside of China

Citi Bike set to become biggest bike-share outside of China

Citi Bike will expand into Upper Manhattan this month — making the bike-share system the largest in the world outside of those in China, the company said Wednesday.

The incursion into the Washington Heights and Inwood area will bring the total number of bikes in the system to 20,000, Citi Bike said — triple the number when bike-share started in 2013, and more than the sizable systems in Seoul and Paris.

By 2024, Citi Bike expects to have doubled in size again, surpassing systems in China to become the world’s biggest municipal bike-share.

According to data compiled by Citi Bike-owner Lyft, the largest network in the world is currently in Suzhou, China, which has a 38,679-bike fleet that also operates in nearby Wujiang.

The two largest networks outside of China are currently in Seoul and Paris, Lyft said.

The expansion into Upper Manhattan comes on the heels of new stations in parts of Brooklyn and western Queens. Citi Bike’s service area will expand into the west Bronx north of the Cross Bronx Expressway later this year.

A person rides a Citi Bike in Manhattan
A person rides a Citi Bike in Manhattan
Getty Images

The 8-year-old bike rental system has boomed in the year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as more New Yorkers turn to bikes for both recreation and transit.

Nearly 600,000 people rode Citi Bike for the first time last year, according to Lyft.

Some 1.5 million Citi Bike rides took place in New York City last month, the company said — marking a 40 percent increase compared to March 2020 and a 12 percent bump on 2019, despite many New Yorkers still working from home.

A Lyft spokesman said the installation of new bikes and stations in Inwood and Washington Heights should wrap up by the end of April.

A Chinese mechanic from bike share company Ofo Inc. stands amongst a pile of thousands of damaged bicycles in need of repair
A Chinese mechanic from bike share company Ofo Inc. stands amongst a pile of thousands of damaged bicycles in need of repair
Getty Images

“I’m thrilled to see Citi Bike finally encompass all of Manhattan,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said in a statement.

“The COVID pandemic has shown the need for alternative transportation solutions and I look forward to seeing Inwood and Washington Heights residents making good use of our city’s phenomenal bike share system.”

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Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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