Bike sharing company donates over 105 bicycles to the town for low income families….town to meet with Limebike in the fall to expand their bike sharing service…proposal bike racks on buses gathers momentum, county looking at placing bike racks on new buses
One of the two bike share companies that offered residents the opportunity to rent bicycles in White Plains swiftly closed down their operation. They left over 105 bicycles near the White Plains train station and advised the Cycle Club of Westchester that they would like to donate the bicycles to those who can’t afford a bicycle. On Friday the town picked up the bicycles and stored them. The apps on the ofo bicycles have been removed. I reached out to area schools and the principal of Alexander Hamilton High School. We’re going to give Alexander Hamilton 20 requested bicycles which they will distribute to children. I have written to area religious leader and other school districts advising them of the donation and offering the bicycles to those who need it the most. I was advised that some of the bicycles we picked up need to be repaired and we’re going to work with the Cycle Club of Westchester.
On a related note—LIMEBIKE continues to serve Yonkers and White Plains. I reached out to the company and asked if they would consider expanding their service territory to Greenburgh (since many people pick up their bicycles in White Plains and Yonkers and leave the shared bikes in Greenburgh anyway. They were very receptive and sent me a draft agreement –similar to the ones they have with those cities. The Town Board will arrange a follow up meeting with representatives of Lime in September.
Within the next year thousands of bicyclists will be able to cycle across the Mario Cuomo bridge from Westchester to Rockland County. This new path will be a destination point for cyclists and tourists from around the metropolitan area- if not the world.
Some of the roads leading up to the bridge (namely Route 119 and Broadway in the River Villages) are currently not very bicycle friendly. That will eventually change but it won't happen overnight.
One initiative that the county could take that could make cycling safer would be for Westchester to do what other communities around the nation and world currently do: place bicycle racks on buses. This initiative would also enable cyclists to take advantage of the bike paths in our county and scenic back roads but to use public transportation on busier and less bicycle friendly roads like Route 119 or Broadway leading to the bridge.
Almost every major city and transit system in the United States have placed bike racks on their buses. Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, Cedar Rapids, St Louis, NJ Transit, Arizona, Florida communities, and many other localities have bike racks on buses. Westchester & NYC transit are among the handful that do not. This is unfortunate.
Bike racks are not very expensive. A new bike rack costs a few hundred dollars each. Most bike racks are affixed to the front of a bus and can hold two bicycles of standards size. In the communities that have bicycle racks on buses delays are insignificant. Bike racks on buses would encourage more people to commute to work using a mixture of public transportation and cycling. Bike racks on buses will reduce traffic congestion. Bike racks on buses could save lives. Less experienced cyclists could take the bus on busy roads and get off near bike paths or back roads. Its a way to integrate public transit and cycling.
I have pushing for bicycle racks on buses for over ten years. Unfortunately, former County Executive Rob Astoino did not support the initiative. Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to Westchester County Executive George Latimer about this during the family day event at Greenburgh's AF Veteran park. I had a similar conversation with County Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky. Both indicated that the county will be putting bicycle racks on new buses that are being ordered. This is FANTASTIC NEWS and will make cycling safer. I think it will also be helpful to our public transportation system--will attract more riders.
Greenburgh NY Town Supervisor