New York City cyclists (or anyone who is tired of walking) have a reason to smile today: Lyft’s Citi Bikes are now available to rent at any one of the 900-plus Citi Bike stations across the city. You can rent one of bikes by using the Lyft app, the Citi Bike app or by using a member key.
Lyft bikes employ a pedal-assist drivetrain method that allows riders to pedal under their own power on flat ground while getting a motorized assist on hills and other inclines.
The bike rollout comes after some brake issue-related delays. In April, 2019, Lyft removed their Citi Bikes after riders were injured as the result of unexpectedly strong brakes. The New York Times reported that “dozens” of local cyclists had been injured after encountering “stronger than expected brake force.” In addition to the brake issues, some bikes also had persistent battery issues, causing fires in several instances.
Despite these setbacks, the bikes proved quite popular in the initial go around, averaging 15 rides per day, or triple the usage rate of conventional Citi Bikes. Members of the conventional Citi Bike program can pay an extra 10-cents per minute for e-bikes, capped at $2 for 45 minutes or fewer. Non-members can pay an extra 15-cents per minute to use the e-bikes in place of the conventional bikes.
Lyft has announced plans to expand its Citi Bike involvement significantly. The company had roughly 1,000 bikes in service prior to being pulled for the safety issues. A Lyft spokesperson said the company will expand that figure to “several thousand,” while also placing bikes in areas that are not currently served, including parts of Manhattan and The Bronx.
Finding the Right Bicycle Accident Attorney
As seen with Lyft’s safety issues, it’s not always easy for a consumer to anticipate problems before they arise. For cyclists, those problems can come in the form of faulty safety equipment on Citi Bikes or, more commonly, negligence on the part of drivers. 2019 saw 29 cyclists killed in New York City — the highest number in recent memory. The high rate of fatal accidents (and perceived inaction from city officials) were enough to inspire protests from cyclists on city streets this past summer.
While the de Blasio administration has promised stronger protections for cyclists, accident are unfortunately inevitable — and when they occur, victims need an experienced attorney. At The Frankel Law Firm, we have more than four decades of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims.
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