May 6, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A new fleet of electric Citi Bikes that have longer battery capacity and an array of innovative features was launched in Astoria Thursday.
The e-bikes have a new design and are quicker, more environmentally friendly, and come with onboard safety sensors, as well as a built-in LCD screen.
The new e-bikes were unveiled during a press event at the Astoria Houses that was hosted by the rideshare company Lyft, which oversees the day-to-day maintenance of the service.
John Zimmer, the president and co-founder of Lyft, said that the new generation of e-bikes are the result of a two-year redesign process.
“Our design team created an e-bike New Yorkers will love and one that’s built to last,” Zimmer said. “We’re very excited to grow Lyft’s Citi Bike options and bring more safety and joy to bike riding.”
The battery-powered bikes are faster and smoother than previous designs, although they don’t go over the city’s 20 miles-per-hour speed limit.
The new bikes have a fresh look with an off-white paint, replacing the distinctive cobalt blue color that Citi Bike is well known for.
The new paint, according to Lyft, is retroreflective, making the bikes more visible at night– and therefore safer for riders to operate.
Other safety features include a powerful LED beacon light, an upgraded rear hydraulic brake for smoother stoppages, and a range of built-in safety sensors, which monitor the brake conditions and battery life.
The battery on the new e-bikes, according to Lyft, lasts twice as long, meaning the bikes can travel up to 60 miles with a full charge. The company says the new battery is more efficient and will likely lead to fewer repairs and less battery swaps, thereby reducing its environmental impact.
An LCD screen and a speaker has been installed in the center of the handlebars providing riders with instructions on unlocking and parking.
The e-bikes will add to the current stock of 5,000 Citi Bike e-bikes and 25,000 classic bikes.
The launch of the new e-bikes was welcomed by City Council Member Tiffany Cabán.
“This will move the needle on street safety, the environment, and our neighborhoods’ quality of life,” Cabán said in a statement. “I applaud this expansion and look forward to riding one of the e-bikes myself soon.”
Representatives from the non-profit group Urban Upbound, transportation advocates and Astoria Houses tenant association leaders were also present for the unveiling.