On the go? citi bike offers valet service

| 13 Sep 2016 | 07:54

Cyclists zipping in and out of the busy Citi Bike docking station at Chambers and West Streets will have an easier time picking up and leaving their bikes.

Citi Bike will offer valet service at its station at the bustling intersection in Battery Park City, located under the Tribeca Bridge.

Valet service helps with the rebalancing off bikes in high-volume areas where there may not be enough bicycles available at the busiest times of the day, a spokeswoman from Motivate, Citi Bike’s operator, said. Valet attendants be on hand weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The location is one of more than a dozen high volume stations that offer valet service throughout Manhattan.

The pilot program for the station began on Aug. 29 and will run through Oct. 7. If successful, it will continue until Nov. 4.

“This location, right along the greenway and next to a neighborhood with such vibrant residential, commercial and retail means the West and Chambers Citi Bike station sees high traffic throughout the day,” Citi Bike General Manager Jules Flynn said in a statement. “We’re delighted to bring Citi Bike valet service to this bustling area.”

Residents as well as tourists use the West and Chambers Streets location, a spokesperson said.

There are two valet attendants who work during rush hour and one during the middle of the day, according to information provided by New York City-based Motivate, which also operates bike-share programs throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Valet attendants are recruited in a variety of ways, including through Workforce1, community-based organizations, e-blasts to community boards and elected officials. There are 53 valets citywide.

There are four other stations throughout the 92 acres of Battery Park City but the West and Chambers location is the second-busiest station in the entire city. During July, riders made more than 27,000 trips to or from the station. Pershing Square near Grand Central Terminal is the busiest. That location and several Citi Bike stations, including at Penn Station, Port Authority and the Hudson Ferry Terminal, also have valets.

Citi Bike is the largest bike share program in the U.S. with riders breaking the ridership record twice earlier this month, hitting the 60,000 ride threshold on Sept. 7, and then breaking it the next day, when there were 61,266 rides.

“This bike valet service shows that commuting by bike is more popular than ever in New York City — and now it can be easier, too,” Caroline Samponaro, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, said. “The West Side Greenway is a great place to ride, and we look forward to more people in Battery Park City and beyond giving Citi Bike a try.”

When Citi Bike launched in May 2013, there were 6,000 bicycles and 332 stations. Today there are 8,000 bikes and 565 locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City. There are plans to expand to 12,000 bikes by the end of 2017. In just 2015, Citi Bike riders took more than 10 million trips.