Hoboken + Jersey City Announce Joint Bike-Share Program With Lyft/Citi Bike

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The Jersey City and Hoboken bike share programs that were once separate entities are working to officially become one. The contract requires approval from both City Councils. Jersey City is voting on the contract tonight and is expected to be approved, and Hoboken is voting on August 19th.

“Both Hoboken and Jersey City are leaders in advancing alternative transportation options, and we are thrilled to partner together to utilize the same regional bike share program for our cities,” a joint statement from both Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said on August 12th.

citi bike hoboken

Photo Credit: @citibike

In the past, Hoboken and Jersey City both ran separate bike-share programs with different operators — with Hoboken using Jersey {formerly Hudson} Bike Share, and Jersey City using Citi Bike. While it provided opportunities for sustainable travel in individual municipalities, it did not allow for residents of both cities to easily commute between Jersey City and Hoboken, often resulting in Citi Bikes in the Jersey Bikes’ docking stations and vice versa.

Now, Jersey City and Hoboken have announced Lyft/Citi Bike as the selected bike-share provider in a joint release. The new program will be interoperable with Citi Bike NYC, so members of the Hoboken-Jersey City Bike Share Program can rent Citi Bikes in New York at no additional cost.

The press release states:

“It’s a pivotal moment as we work to foster safer and healthier solutions to the unprecedented challenges we’re currently facing due to the pandemic, and this bike share partnership is the innovative approach people are looking for to avoid crowded mass transit and opt for a safer, healthier, low-cost, and efficient means of travel,” said Mayor Fulop.

“I am thrilled that Hoboken will be joining Jersey City in upgrading our bike share system to Citi Bike,” said Mayor Bhalla. “This system will provide an integrated transportation option between Hoboken and Jersey City that is safe, affordable, and convenient for residents, which is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only will Citi Bike provide for improved connectivity between our two cities but will also allow Hoboken residents to now utilize Citi Bike in New York City with one membership. We look forward to the launch of Citi Bike in Hoboken with Mayor Fulop this fall!”

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The New Bike Setup in Sister Cities

Both Hoboken and Jersey City will be receiving additional bike stations, and upgrades to the existing ones. The combined Hoboken-Jersey City bike share system will initially include 800 bikes and 82 stations, making it one of the largest bike share programs in the eastern United States.
The joint press release adds:

A regional bike share company will help advance safer, alternative transportation options, a central component of both cities’ Vision Zero campaigns to eliminate pedestrian deaths and serious injuries within 10 years or less. Jersey City and Hoboken are two of the most bike-friendly communities in New Jersey, with a combined 75 miles of protected bike lanes, conventional bike lanes, and shared lanes.

During initial deployment, Lyft will maintain and make necessary upgrades to the existing 51 Citi Bike stations in Jersey City and will add 2 new stations on the south side of the city. In an effort to focus investments in underserved neighborhoods, Lyft will work with Jersey City to locate 75% of the new stations outside of Downtown.

In Hoboken, Lyft will install 30 new stations that will effectively replace the existing Hudson Bike Share stations. Starting in 2021, the system expansion in Jersey City will include an additional 15 new stations and 200 bikes, for a total program buildout of 95 stations and 1,000 bikes. Lyft will work with the City of Hoboken to add more stations in 2021 as well, pending available funding.

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The Types of Bikes

For the new joint program, 40% of the bike share fleet will consist of pedal-assist electric bikes. The pedal-assist e-bikes, which are currently deployed in New York City, do not have a throttle, so riders will be required to pedal just like a conventional bike in order for the electric assist to activate.
The pedal-assist bikes will help riders travel further distances between the two cities to access employment opportunities, patronize local businesses, visit friends and family, and more. The pedal-assist bikes will be required to be parked at Citi Bike docking stations.”

“The program will include a valet system that allows people to leave their bikes without docking and then the bikes will be redistributed throughout the day,” noted Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher in an email to constituents, the chair of the city’s Transportation and Parking Subcommittee.

The Cost of Rides

jc bike lanes

“The new program will cost more – both membership and pay as you go. But remember that our current bike share contract is dated by comparison and requires users to pay for a separate program altogether to use bikes in Jersey City or NYC,” said Tiffanie Fisher.

Single ride pricing: for non-members, Lyft’s pricing for a single ride costs $3 for up to $30 minutes on a classic pedal bike. When a user upgrades to an e-bike, it will be an additional $0.15 per minute. If a user rides a bike for longer than 30 minutes at a time, regardless of the type {of bike}, it will cost them an additional $0.15/min.

Annual membership: 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 $0.10/min. For trips longer than 45 minutes, it costs members an additional $0.15 per minute, regardless of the type of bike.

Reduced fare memberships: Lyft will offer a deeply discounted Citi Bike reduced fare membership for SNAP recipients and housing authority residents of $5/month. For reduced fare uses, the first 45 minutes of each ride is free when riding a Citi Bike classic pedal bike. If a reduced fare user chooses to take an e-bike, it will cost an extra $0.05/min. If a user keeps a bike out for longer than 45 minutes at a time, it will cost $0.15/min. for the remainder of their journey, regardless of bike type.

Veterans and military memberships: Citi Bike also offers veterans and military discounts, with $35 off annual membership costs to all active, reservist, veteran, and retired US military personnel.

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City Revenue, and What This Means for Residents

According to both mayors’ press release, the bike share system is being provided at no cost to the cities. Additionally, Lyft will pay a concession fee to the Cities of 5% of its annual ridership revenue in excess of $2 million.

The joint press release adds:

The Citi Bike agreement also includes better revenue share for both cities with five percent of annual ridership revenue above $2 million to be evenly distributed. The new Hoboken-Jersey City bike share program contract will be subject to adoption from both City Councils.

This news of a joint bike-share program between the Mile Square and Jersey City comes on the heels of Jersey City announcing it will add five more protected bike lanes to its streets. Currently, Jersey City has at least nine miles of protected lanes throughout Grove Street, Washington Boulevard, Bergen Avenue, and Montgomery Street.

These new five lanes — which officials say will be completed by winter 2020 — will add extensions to Grand Street, Montgomery Street, and Columbus Drive. New lanes will also be added northbound on Marin Boulevard from 18th Street to the border of the Mile Square, as per Jersey Digs.
Increasing residents’ access to sustainable forms of transportation is a part of both cities’ Vision Zero campaigns, which seek to eliminate all pedestrian fatalities and injuries within the next 10 years.

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Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.