Citi Bike Profile: Becoming a Bike Share Believer
June 27th - Jerrell is a sophomore at the University of Rochester, majoring in political science and urban development. This summer he is a fellow at Restoration where he was introduced to Citi Bike by Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President of Programs and Operations. She has been the driving force of the Better Bike Share Partnership. The following is an interview he did for Citi Bike Blog:
What was your first impression of Citi Bike?
I initially perceived Citi Bike as an outrageous mechanism of transportation that wasn’t for people that looked like me. I was one of the many skeptics that didn’t believe that biking would be a sufficient means of transportation in NYC’s crazy traffic. From the reckless drivers, taxis, MTA buses, to my own concerns about gentrification, I definitely had many concerns.
Do you own a bike?
Yes I do, but it was only used for short distances or riding around Prospect Park.
What made you change your mind about Citi Bike?
The first day that I got to Restoration, Tracey started alluding to Citi Bike and even brought me to a few meetings with representatives of the DOT and Citi Bike to get me acclimated with the partnership. The following week, we decided to ride from the southern part of Bed-Stuy to the northern part and then after a meeting we rode to Downtown Brooklyn. This day was the awakening that made realize that Citi Bike is an amazing effort. The ride was smooth, calming, relaxing and the drivers were cautious of the cyclists. Rather than being stressed out by a packed train or bus and facing a delay, Citi Bike allowed me to get to my location in a comfortable manner while providing me with some exercise.
Do you feel that Citi Bike will be adopted my other people of color?
It already has! And it will continue to grow. I feel like once people of color and in the lower income community see other people that look like them using Citi Bike, it will draw more people in. This is what Restoration already has been trying to foster with the coalition with the DOT, DOHMH and Citi Bike. As bike share continues to become more commonplace and once more people become aware of the many affordable and discount options available, it will be even more embraced by communities.