Citi Bike leaves out poor neighborhoods

Citi Bike station
Citi Bike station

The loudest complaints about the new bike share program have come from rich neighborhoods where Citi Bike stations abound. Less heard are the complaints coming from poor neighborhoods that were left out of the program, the Wall Street Journal reported.

With 6,000 bikes and 330 stations on the streets, the program has proved popular in many neighborhoods that were already well-connected to public transit, earning the envy of residents in poorer outlying areas with less transit options.

According to a Journal analysis, residents of bike-share neighborhoods have a median household income of about $73,000 compared with $48,300 in the rest of the city, and are 56 percent white, while the rest of the city is 30.6 percent white.

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Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the city’s transportation commissioner, said the program is being built from the center out, and will eventually expand to outer areas.

Citi Bike is funded by users and a sponsorship from Citigroup. City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said it can’t expand without more money, either from sponsors or a loan to cover the damages inflicted last year by Superstorm Sandy.

While Harlem and the Bronx are left out, wealthy neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Tribeca are well-served by Citi Bike — a situation that The Daily Show couldn’t help but lampoon. [WSJ]TRD